Common Chickweed, Stellaria media
Common chickweed is an annual flowering plant in the family Caryophyllaceae, often grown as ground cover in parks and gardens. It is native to Europe and has spread throughout the world. Common Chickweed is often used as a herbal remedy, and grown as a vegetable crop for both human and poultry consumption. Other common names include chickenwort, maruns, and winterweed. The plant germinates in autumn or late winter, then forms large mats of foliage. It produces miniscule, white, five-petalled flowers, although each petal is split down the middle, so it often looks like it has ten petals. It's small, thick green leaves offer a delightful crunch when eaten and have a flavour reminiscent of green apple skin. It is the perfect addition to a salad, soup or pesto, or just served sauteed with butter. It can also be found all year round.
🌳 Deciduous Woodland.
🐑 Grassland, including paddocks, fields and meadows.
🏡 Urban Green Spaces, including scrubland, parks and gardens.
🏢 Urban Environments, wasteland, Streets and pavements.
🚜 Hedgerows, including field edges.
🌸🌞🍂❄️ Jan - December
☘️ Small oval leaves with a point at the end. The leaves are usually smooth, but can occasionally have tiny hairs.
🌷 Tiny, white, five-petalled flowers, that are deeply lobed, so look like they have ten petals.
🌱 Green or reddish. The stem is round but it has a single line of tiny hairs growing down one side.
Fruit / Seeds
🍏 The flowers quickly form capsules (seed pods), which contain the seeds. It is not uncommon to see capsules and flowers on the same plant.
Aroma / Taste
👃 Indistinct Aroma
👅 Often likened to lettuce, but we think it has a slight tang, a little like green apple skin.
🟩 ID Difficulty: Beginner
👀 The lobed, five-petalled flowers that look as though they have ten petals is a key identifier of this plant, as is the single line of hairs growing down one side of the stem.
🥗 Salad - Is usually eaten raw and added to salads.
🥬 Green - Is sometimes cooked like a vegetable.
☕️ Beverage - Can be used to create teas.