Common Chickweed

Stellaria, a non-native plant, is seasonal, usually first appearing in December. It has trailing branching stems and numerous egg-shaped to elliptic leaves, usually with an obvious tooth at the apex.  It is found in Camp, along the ‘Anunu/East Turnaround border, and in West Turnaround.

Stellaria cotyledons range from long and slender to almost perfectly egg-shaped. At this stage, the apical (at the apex) tooth is not obvious, but almost always present either with slight discoloration or a slight point at the apex. Once the true leaves appear the apical tooth is generally obvious and distinguishes Stellaria from all other plants on Kure.

Here the true leaves distinctly show the elliptic leaf shape and apical tooth characteristic of Stellaria. The true leaves also have a central vein that is roughly straight, but on close observation can be seen to be a bit squiggly. Stellaria grows into dense mats.


Description:
Slender annual or perennial herbs; stems trailing, matted, or weakly ascending, 1-8 dm long, pubescent in lines. Leaves ovate to elliptic, (0.5-) 1-3 (-4) cm long, (0.3-) 0.8-1.5 (-2) cm wide, base rounded to cuneate, petioles 0-2 cm long, often ciliate. Pedicels ascending to recurved; sepals 3.5-6 mm long, villous, apex obtuse to acute; petals slightly shorter than the sepals, 2-cleft, or sometimes absent; stamens 3-10. Capsules ovoid, 3.5-7 mm long. Seeds reddish brown, suborbicular, 1-1.1 mm long, papillose (Wagner et al., 1999; pp. 526-528).