Survival Manual

Chickweed (Stellaria media) Wild Edible Food

Identification of Chickweed. Chickweed is a low growing weed with a sprawling nature, sort of like how clover grows in your back yard. The plant flowers in the spring and the summer. Each flower has five green petals that surround the colored sepals. Examine carefully because these petals at first glance may appear to be 10 petals because of a deep notch. The flowers are small white star-shaped flowers. Before the flowers erupt they are small green buds at the end of the stalks that are covered with hairs.

Chickweed plants have hairs growing in a line along the stem and up the petioles. Careful examination will reveal that the line of hairs changes position along the stalk at each node.

Chickweed leaves are oval with pointed tips that are smooth or slightly hairy. The leaves have entire margins. The leaves grow opposite each other on this plant. Chickweed grows in a unique, intertwined manner.

Chickweed Stellaria media is found in both North America and Europe. Stellaria media can be distinguished from other closely related family members by examining the stems.
Important Tip:Stellaria has fine hairs on only one side of the stem in a single band and on the sepals. Other members of the family which resemble Stellaria have hairs uniformly covering the entire stem.

Chickweed grows in many areas in a wide variety of habitats and soil. It is one of the most common weeds founds in lawns but it also grows well in fields or in deciduous forests.

Edible parts: Chickweed leaves and flowers can be eaten raw.

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