common chickweed USDA PLANTS Symbol: STPA13
U.S. Nativity: Exotic
Habit: Forbs/Herbs
Stellaria pallida (Dumort.) Crépin

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Taxonomic Rank: Magnoliopsida: Caryophyllales: Caryophyllaceae
Synonym(s): chickweed, nodding chickweed, stitchwort, starwort

Common chickweed is an annual, low-growing herb native to Europe. Stems are decumbent, to 19.7 in. (50 cm) long with a longitudinal line of hairs. Leaves are opposite, oval, to 0.8 in. (2 cm) long and pointed at the tip. Older leaves are petiolate. Flowering occurs in early spring when small, white flowers develop in the leaf axils or in terminal clusters. Flowers have 5 cleft petals, therefore appearing that there are 10. Fruits are very small and are covered by extremely hairy calyces. Common chickweed occurs in shady, moist locations and can commonly threaten habitats on rocky seeps.

Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources

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Theodore Webster, USDA Agricultural Research Service,
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John D. Byrd, Mississippi State University,
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Joseph M. DiTomaso, University of California - Davis,
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Steve Hurst, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database,
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EDDMapS Distribution:
This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts and records obtained from USDA Plants Database. For more information, visit

State(s) Where Reported invasive.
Based on state level agency and organization lists of invasive plants from WeedUS database.

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Invasive Listing Sources:
Faith Campbell, 1998
Jil M. Swearingen, Survey of invasive plants occurring on National Park Service lands, 2000-2007
John Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Survey of TNC Preserves, 1995.
Kentucky Exotic Pest Plant Council
Mid-Atlantic Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2005
North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, 1998
Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust, Pennsylvania.