Introduced. Perennial. Propagates by seeds. Time of bloom: May to September. Seed-time: June to October. Range: Throughout North America except the extreme North. Habitat: Fields, meadows, yards, roadsides, and waste places.

Stems tufted, some prostrate, others erect or ascending, six inches to a foot or more in length, dark green, and clammy-hairy. Basal and lower leaves oblong-spatulate, obtuse; upper ones usually oblong, sometimes lance-shaped, a half-inch to an inch long, not at all resembling the ears of a mouse. Flowers in loose cymose clusters, the central one solitary and always the oldest; usually but one flower in a cluster is open at a time; the five white petals are cleft at the tip and are longer than the somewhat obtuse, hairy sepals; styles always five, and stamens ten. Seed capsule slenderly ovoid, faintly ridged, slightly curved upward, opening through ten pointed teeth at its summit. Seeds very numerous, brown and rough. (Fig. 93.)

Fig. 93.   Common Mouse ear Chickweed (Cerastium vulgatum). X1/2.

Fig. 93. - Common Mouse-ear Chickweed (Cerastium vulgatum). X1/2.

Means Of Control

In cultivated ground this weed is not very troublesome, as its spreading, rather shallow-growing roots are readily destroyed by the required tillage. In grain fields its spreading habit makes it obnoxious, as it appropriates more food and moisture than the crop can afford. Here it can be killed when young, or so checked in growth as to prevent seed development, by a spray of Iron sulfate, though it is not so sensitive to that treatment as is the garden Chick weed.