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Cerastium arvense (Field chickweed)
Smith, R.W.

Cerastium arvense

Cerastium arvense L.

Field Chickweed

Caryophyllaceae (Pink Family)


USDA Symbol: CEAR4

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N), GL (N), SPM (N)

A plant with several stems leaning on the ground, and a white flower blooming at the end of each of the few branches of the nearly leafless flower cluster. Below the point where leaves attach the stem are downward-pointing hairs, those in flower cluster tipped with glands.

Cerastium, from the Greek keras ("horn"), refers to the capsule, which is tapered and, in some species, bent slightly like a cow's horn. The very similar Mountain Chickweed (C. beeringianum), which grows at high elevations in America's western mountains, has green-edged bracts in the flower cluster.


From the Image Gallery

14 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Capsule

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug


USA: AK , AR , AZ , CA , CO , CT , DC , DE , GA , IA , ID , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , MT , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NV , NY , OH , OR , PA , RI , SD , TN , UT , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV , WY
Canada: AB , NB , NS , PE
Native Distribution: Northern Hemisphere; south in the West to northern California, northern Arizona, and southern New Mexico.
Native Habitat: Open, generally grassy areas from near the coast to high in the mountains.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry


Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Additional resources

USDA: Find Cerastium arvense in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Cerastium arvense in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Cerastium arvense


Record Modified: 2013-06-21
Research By: TWC Staff

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