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Weed of the Week: Chickweed

 

Stellaria media plant. Note the mat-forming branches and compact nature. Credit: Annette Chandler, UF/IFAS

Welcome to Weed Science Wednesday, a weekly series aimed at helping homeowners and horticulture professionals better identify and manage common landscape weeds in Florida.

Stellaria media leaves.

Stellaria media leaves. Note the smooth, ovate and sharp tip, all distinguishing characteristics of this weed. Credit: Annette Chandler, UF/IFAS

This week’s weed of the week is Chickweed (Stellaria media). Chickweed is a winter annual weed found throguhout Florida’s landscapes, home gardens and container nurseries. Chickweed is one of the most widespread weeds in the world, and is commonly found in Europe, North America and Asia.

Chickweed can be recognized with its smooth, ovate leaves and star-shaped flowers. Chickweed forms a dense mat with branches and slowly spreads over the landscape, and is most commonly prostrate (low-growing along the ground). Chickweed should be removed from the landscape before it flowers, and hand-weeding can help prevent the spread.

Stellaria media flowers. Note their star-shape. Credit: Annette Chandler, UF/IFAS

For more information on Chickweed, including specific recommendations for chemical, physical and cultural weed controls, please consult Biology and Management of Common Chickweed (Stellaria media) in Ornamental Crop Production.

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