This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol2-4", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
I. Great Chickweed (Stellaria aquatica, Scop.). 2. Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum Salicaria, L.). 3. Great Hairy Willow Herb (Epilobium hirsutum, L.). 4. Marsh Bedstraw (Galium palustre, L.). 5. Hemp Agrimony (Eupatorium cannabinum, L.). 6. Fleabane (Pulicaria dysenterica, Gray).
The plant is autochorous, dispersed by the plant's own agency.
Photo. G B. Dixon - Great Chickweed (Stellaria Aquatica, Scop.)
The capsule splits into unequal valves in several parts and causes the dispersal of seeds around the parent plant.
This species is a humus-loving plant, and grows chiefly on humus soil, or is a sand plant, requiring a sand soil. It is frequent on recent alluvium.
The micro-fungi, Peronospora arenariae, Puccinia arenariae, Pink Rust, grow on it. The moths, Cream-spot Tiger Chelonia (Arctia) villica, Stout Dart (Agrotis ravida), feed upon it as a food plant.
Stellaria, of Brunfels, is derived from the Latin stella, star, in allusion to the star-like flower, and aquatica refers to its habitat.
This plant is called Chickweed or Water Chickweed. The larger flowers distinguish this from other chickweeds. The Common Chick-weed (S. media) was employed in plaster used for broken bones and swellings, as it was supposed to be binding and cooling. It would be a suitable plant for use as spinach, for it is to be found all the year round.
Essential Specific Characters:54. Stellaria aquatica, Scop. - Stems tall, brittle, glandular, lower leaves stalked, upper sessile, cordate, ovate, flowers large, white, in the axils of the leaves, petals narrow, divided, longer than the calyx, capsule with 5 bifid teeth.