Stellaria media (L.) Vill.
common chickweed (common starwort)
Caryophyllaceae (Pink family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Kevin Newell     (Photo ID #5810)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Stellaria media
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Perennial herb from a slender rhizome; stems decumbent, rooting nodally, hairy in longitudinal lines, several, branched, often matted, 7-50 cm long.
basal leaves lacking; stem leaves opposite, stalked below, unstalked above, egg-shaped to elliptic, 0.5-4.5 cm long, 0.5-1.5 mm wide, fleshy, hairy; stipules lacking.
Inflorescence of single flowers in the leaf axils or terminal flowers in an open cluster; petals 5, white, deeply 2-cleft, 2-3 mm long; sepals 5, oblong-lanceolate, 3-4.5 mm long, hairy and more or less glandular.
Capsules straw-coloured, egg-shaped, 4-5 mm long, 6-valved; seeds about 0.9-1.3 mm long, reddish-brown, minutely roughened.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.


Ecological Framework for Stellaria media

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres)
489 24 2058
Slope Gradient (%)
23 0 84

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

164 24 340
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 1 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

CDF(23), CWH(2), ESSF(2), ICH(1), IDF(2), PP(2), SBS(6)

Habitat and Range

Moist to mesic waste places, fields and gardens in the lowland and montane zones; frequent in S BC; introduced from Eurasia.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia