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Stellaria media (L.) Vill.
Family Caryophyllaceae
Common name: Common Chickweed, Chickweed

Stellaria media (L.) Vill. APNI*

Description: Annual or biennial with slender branched stems, prostrate or ascending; glabrous except for line of hairs between nodes.

Leaves ovate, 5–25(-40) mm long, 3–10(-15) mm wide; upper leaves sessile, lower ones petiolate.

Flowers in terminal cymes; pedicels 5–15 mm long, often recurved after flowering. Sepals 4–7 mm long, glandular-hairy; margins narrow, scarious. Petals 3–4 mm long, deeply bifid, slightly shorter than sepals, or occasionally absent. Stamens 3–5, anthers reddish violet.

Capsule 4–6 mm long, ovoid to oblong, longer than the calyx, pale-coloured; seeds few.

Photo L. von Richter

Photo J. R. Hosking

Photo L. von Richter

Flowering: July–Dec.

Distribution and occurrence: Almost cosmop. weed of cultivation. Native probably to Europe.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CC, *SC, *NT, *CT, *ST, *NWS, *CWS, *SWS, *NWP, *SWP, *SFWP, *LHI
Other Australian states: *Qld *Vic. *Tas. *W.A. *S.A.
AVH map***

Frequently confused with S. pallida, differing most obviously in presence (in S. media) or absence (S. pallida) of petals. However, this and other distinctions seem to break down in other parts of the world.

Text by A. Doust (1990); edited Fl NSW vol 1 edn 2 (2000); edited KL Wilson (May 2010, Nov 2012)
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 1 (1990); CH Miller and JG West (2012)

APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.
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