COMMON CHICKWEED





(Aisine media; Stellaria media of Gray) Pink family



Flowers - Small, white, on slender pedicels from leaf axils, also

in terminal clusters. Calyx (usually) of 5 sepals, much longer

than the 5 (usually) 2-parted petals; 2-10 stamens; 3 or 4

styles. Stem: Weak, branched, tufted, leafy, 4 to 6 in long, a

hairy fringe on one side. Leaves: Opposite, acutely oval, lower

ones petioled, upper ones seated on stem.

Preferred Habitat - Moist, shady soil; woods; meadows.

Flowering Season - Throughout the year.

Distribution - Almost universal.



The sole use man has discovered for this often pestiferous weed

with which nature carpets moist soil the world around is to feed

caged song-birds. What is the secret of the insignificant little

plant's triumphal progress? Like most immigrants that have

undergone ages of selective struggle in the Old World, it

successfully competes with our native blossoms by readily

adjusting itself to new conditions, filling places unoccupied,

and chiefly by prolonging its season of bloom beyond theirs, to

get relief from the pressure of competition for insect trade in

the busy season. Except during the most cruel frosts, there is

scarcely a day in the year when we may not find the little

star-like chickweed flowers. Contrast this season with that of a

native chickweed, the LONG-LEAVED STITCHWORT [LONG-LEAVED

CHICKWEED] (A. longifolia [S. longifolia]), blooming only from

May till July, when competition is fiercest! Also, the common

chickweed has its parts so arranged that it can fertilize itself

when it is too cold for insect pollen-carriers to fly; then,

especially, are many of its stamens abortive, not to waste the

precious dust. Yet even in winter it produces abundant seed. In

sunny, fine spring weather, however, when so much nectar is

secreted the fine little drops may be easily seen by the naked

eye, small bees, flies, and even thrips visit the blossoms whose

anthers shed pollen one by one before the three stigmatic

surfaces are ready to receive any from younger flowers.





COMMON BURDOCK COCKLEBUR BEGGARS BUTTONS CLOTBUR CUCKOO COMMON DAISY WHITEWEED WHITE OR OXEYE DAISY LOVEME, facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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