This section is from the book "A Manual Of Weeds", by Ada E. Georgia. Also available from Amazon: A Manual Of Weeds.
Native. Perennial. Propagates by seeds and by rootstocks. Time of bloom: April to July. Seed-time: May to August. Range: Labrador to Alaska, southward to
Georgia, Missouri, and California. Habitat: Dry, rocky places, usually on hills in the southern part of its range, but in the
North invading pastures and meadows.
A plant which is in many places cultivated for its beauty, the white, starry flowers being more than a half-inch broad, borne in graceful terminal clusters. But its creeping rootstocks make it difficult to keep within bounds, as every joint is capable of forming a new plant. (Fig. 92.)
Stems densely tufted, erect, slender, downy or sometimes nearly smooth, four to ten inches tall, simple or with few branches. Leaves rather thick, linear oblong to lance-shaped or the lower ones somewhat spatulate. Sepals lance-shaped, the deeply notched white petals more than twice as long. Stamens ten or fewer; styles usually five, sometimes four or three. Capsules much exceeding the calyx and containing many small, roughened seeds which are released by the opening of ten pointed teeth at the apex. In the southern part of its range the plant dies down in summer, but makes a second growth in autumn and remains green through the winter.
Fig. 92. - Field Mouse-ear Chick-weed (Cerastium arvense). X 1/2.
Where the plant takes possession of grasslands it is best to cleanse the ground with a short rotation of hoed crops. Small areas should be carefully grubbed out, and wayside patches prevented from spreading.