Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Chickweed, Starweed, Star Chickweed, Passerina
Stellaria media

Family: Caryophyllaceae (kar-ree-oh-fil-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Stellaria (stell-AR-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: media (MEED-ee-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Alsine media

7 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)
12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Blooms all year


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry

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There are a total of 19 photos.
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2 positives
2 neutrals
3 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Galomorro On Aug 13, 2012, Galomorro from San Francisco, CA wrote:

I am so very happy that I have a good amount of chickweed, finally, and that it keeps coming up. I'm very grateful for the ease of growth. I'm someone who has no choice but to be an indoor gardener (sunny windows, grow lights) and someone who's enthusiastic about all possible edible weeds, and chickweed is one of the queens of all of them. I appreciate everything I can read about nutritional facts re all edible weeds. It's far easier when I can pick my own at home rather than going out to look for it in the wood. Please continue to have more edible weeds facts! I cannot praise chickweed too much. Also, if there is any way at all I can order garlic mustard seeds from a seller in the U.S., please let me know. Thanks again for a great newsletter.

Negative vossner On Jan 27, 2010, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

This plant is a weed in my area. Easy to remove but when it grows, it's everywhere. It has a beautiful white star flower but it isn't pretty enough to be considered a respectable plant in my garden.

Negative imapigeon On Feb 22, 2009, imapigeon from Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Success? I wish I were LESS successful with this darn plant! It reseeds like crazy and engulfs everything in sight. As far as I'm concerned, it's a weed, and the only thing it's good for is "green" in my compost pile!

Negative Malus2006 On Feb 18, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

I will consider this weed on my list of 10 worst weeds - (chuckles) easy to pull out? Nooooooooo - they are actually one of the hardest weed to pull out. Know Why? They have very weak stems so when you pull on them only the upper section comes out of the ground leaving the roots behind and they are a pain to get rid of because the roots are so tiny and just as weak as the stems and cling to the soil particles. They loves shade and are more of a cool season plant even thought they will bloom all growing season, even in hot summers.

Neutral frostweed On Dec 27, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Chickweed, Starweed, Star Chickweed, Passerina Stellaria media
isnaturalized in Texas and other States and is considered an invasive plant in Texas.

Positive Sherlock_Holmes On Oct 3, 2006, Sherlock_Holmes from Millersburg, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

"The Encyclopedia of Edible Plants of North America: Nature's Green Feast" by Francois Couplan, Ph.D. has this to say about Chickweed.

"S. media - introduced from Europe - is undoubtedly one of the best wild salads. Leaves and stems are tender and juicy with a delicate nutty flavor, and the plants are easy to gather in large quantities. Chickweed also makes an excellent potherb. The tiny seeds are also edible, but are tedious to gather.

In Japan, it is traditionally eaten in the spring with rice and other wild plants. It is also used for making tea.

Chickweed is known to contain vitamin C, minerals, a fixed oil, and some saponin. It is tonic, diuretic, expectorant, and slightly laxative."

"Edible Wild Plants of Eastern North America" by Fernald & Kinsey has this to say about it.

"The common Chickweed of gardens and damp, shaded dooryards is not to be despised as a mere weed, for many European authors are enthusiastic in their praises of it as a substitute for spinach. Thus, Mrs. Lankester went so far as to say: "When boiled, it forms an excellent green vegetable resembling spinach in flavor, and is very wholesome." Others speak of it as having little taste, but as being a good padding to add bulk to other spinaches. Only the young, vigorously growing tips should be used, since the older bases of the plant become stringy with age."

Neutral MotherNature4 On Jun 29, 2004, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

The best thing I can say for this little weed is that it is fairly easy to pull up. It grows so thick that other, harder to pull weeds are held back.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (3 reports)
Phoenix, Arizona
Blytheville, Arkansas
Ellendale, Delaware
Bartow, Florida
Brooksville, Florida
Georgetown, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Brunswick, Georgia
Madison, Illinois
Greenville, Indiana
Winamac, Indiana
Barbourville, Kentucky
Benton, Kentucky
Salvisa, Kentucky
Bridgewater, Massachusetts
Ossineke, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Saint Louis, Missouri
Missoula, Montana
Deposit, New York
Millersburg, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Conway, South Carolina
Fort Worth, Texas
Mc Kinney, Texas
Richmond, Texas
Onancock, Virginia
Seattle, Washington
Spokane, Washington

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