Cerastium vulgatum (Cerastium fontanum ssp. vulgare) mouse-ear chickweed Caryophyllaceae CEVU*; Bx, pb; NY, bl (Stalter and Tang 2002); Q, j; K; R, d, e;

Cerastium vulgatum plant. Photo by Richard Old. www.xidservives.co. anpc.ab.ca

Cerastium vulgatum plant. Photo by Richard Old. www.xidservives.co. anpc.ab.ca (Accessed 12/017).

Cerastium vulgatum is a short-lived perennial, 15-50 cm long from fibrous roots, stems sprawling, hairy, slightly sticky, rooting at nodes, with short, matted basal branches. 

Cerastium vulgatum flower. Randall G. Prostak, University of Massachusetts. extention.umass.edu

Cerastium vulgatum flower. Randall G. Prostak, University of Massachusetts. extention.umass.edu (Accessed 12/2017).

Leaves opposite, stalkless (sessile), blade 1-2 cm long, 0.3-1.2 cm wide, stem leaves egg-shaped, lower leaves spatula-shaped, hairy, dark green. 

Cerastium fontanum flower. David G. Smith. Delaware Wildflowers. discoverlife.org

Cerastium fontanum flower. David G. Smith. Delaware Wildflowers. discoverlife.org (Accessed 12/2017).

Flowers white, to 0.6 cm wide, petals 5, deeply 2-lobed, to 0.1 cm long or longer, about same length as sepals, sepals 0.5-0.6 cm long; flowers self-fertile (autogamous), (Mulligan and Kevan 1973); inflorescence terminal, becoming widely branched; blooming and fruiting early spring to late autumn (Uva et al. 1997). 

Cerastium fontanum fruit. Copyright © Malcolm Storey, 2001. Creative commons- Attribution-nonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 UK. www.bioimages.org.uk

Cerastium fontanum fruit. Copyright © Malcolm Storey, 2001. Creative commons- Attribution-nonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 UK. www.bioimages.org.uk (Accessed 1/2018).

 

Fruit dry, a cylindrical capsule 0.6-1 cm long, 0.2 cm wide, tip opening by 10 linear teeth to release numerous, warty brownish seeds. 

Wetland status: FACU-. 

Frequency in NYC: Infrequent. 

Origin: Eurasia. 

Habitat: Common weed of open areas, roadsides, lawns, gardens. 

Notes: Somewhat shade tolerant, intolerant of drought, often green through winter (Uva et al. 1997).