What is Chickweed? How Will I Recognize It?
Chickweed is a winter annual that is commonly found in many grassy areas across the United States. Chickweed is an edible plant and can be maintained as a food source for poultry, but it is most often seen as an unsightly nuisance in home lawns and can be aggressively invasive if not tended to.
As a winter annual, chickweed produces seeds that lay dormant during the summer months. Chickweed seeds will begin to germinate in the fall, then sprout and grow through the winter. In the last phase of their life, chickweed plants produce their distinctive white flowers, then leave behind more seeds before dying in the warmer weather of spring.
What Does Chickweed Look Like?
Common chickweed (Stellaria media) will usually stand out from desired grasses on your lawn and should be easy to spot. Here are a few key characteristics to confirm which weed you're dealing with:
- Chickweed is a short weed, growing low and in mats or patches, producing short (1/2 to 1 inch) stems
- Chickweed leaves are smooth and small. They are oval shaped with pointed tips, appearing in opposite pairs
- Chickweed flowers are white with five split petals that may appear to be ten narrow petals
If you believe you have chickweed on your property, read our guide on where to find chickweed to learn where to look for the weed, and our guide to killing chickweed on your lawn for help getting rid of it!