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Stellaria graminea - L.

Common Name Lesser stitchwort
Family Caryophyllaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards The leaves contain saponins[7, 65]. Although toxic, these substances are very poorly absorbed by the body and so tend to pass through without causing harm. They are also broken down by thorough cooking. Saponins are found in many plants, including several that are often used for food, such as certain beans. It is advisable not to eat large quantities of food that contain saponins. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish[K]. Report of paralysis attributed to excessive intake. Should not be used during pregnancy or during breastfeeding [301].
Habitats Agricultural fields, roadsides, trail edges, gravel pits, waste areas. Part shade, sun; sandy or gravelly disturbed soil. In New Zealand in wetlands and margins of water bodies and wet grassland.
Range Native to Eurasia but it is widespread around other parts of the temperate world as an introduced species and a common weed.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Stellaria graminea Lesser stitchwort


Stellaria graminea Lesser stitchwort
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Stellaria graminea is a deciduous Perennial growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. The flowers are pollinated by Bees, Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. It cannot tolerate atmospheric pollution.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Alsine graminea (L.) Britton. Cerastium gramineum Crantz. S. gramineoides Hazit. S. patentifolia Kitag. S. (L.) Kuntze

Habitats

Edible Uses

Leaves and shoots used in salads or lightly cooked as a vegetable. Harvest young shoot in spring to summer [1-9].

References

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


The common name Stitchwort is a reference to a herbal remedy in which the various stitchwort plant were used - allegedly to cure that pain in the side known as 'stitch', which afflicts many people when they try to run after a long layoff from sporting activities.

References

Now available: PLANTS FOR YOUR FOOD FOREST: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens.

An important new book from PFAF. It focuses on the attributes of plants suitable for food forests, what each can contribute to a food forest ecosystem, including carbon sequestration, and the kinds of foods they yield. The book suggests that community and small-scale food forests can provide a real alternative to intensive industrialised agriculture, and help to combat the many inter-related environmental crises that threaten the very future of life on Earth.

Read More

FOOD FOREST PLANTS

Other Uses

Faunal Associations: The nectar and pollen of the flowers attract small bees and flies primarily. The caterpillars of several moth species feed on the foliage of Chickweeds, including Agrostis venerabilis (Venerable Dart), Lobocleta ossularia (Drab Brown Wave), and Haematopis grataria (Chickweed Geometer). Mourning Doves and various sparrows occasionally eat the seeds of Chickweeds, while rabbits and groundhogs eat the foliage [1-6]. Attractive flowers. A good bee plant.

Special Uses

Attracts Wildlife  Food Forest

References

Cultivation details

A rhizomatous perennial herb producing branching stems which are prostrate, sprawling, trailing, or erect. An attractive chickweed. Typical growing conditions are full sun and moist to mesic soil. Grows quite well in loam or clay-loam. In garden design, as well as the above-ground architecture of a plant, root structure considerations help in choosing plants that work together for their optimal soil requirements including nutrients and water. The root pattern is fleshy. Thick or swollen - fibrous or tap root [2-1].

References

Temperature Converter

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The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed - broadcast in spring [1-9].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Common starwort, Grass-leaved stitchwort, Lesser stitchwort, Grass-like starwort, grass-leaved chickweed, small starwort, lesser chickweed, Iceland: Akurarfi.

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Known to be weedy

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : Not Listed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Stellaria alsineBog Stitchwort, Bog chickweedPerennial0.3 0-0  LMHSNM12 
Stellaria dichotomaAmerican chickweedPerennial0.3 -  LMHSNM02 
Stellaria diversiflora Perennial0.3 -  LMHSNM10 
Stellaria jamesianatuber starwortPerennial0.5 4-9  LMHSNM300
Stellaria mediaChickweed, Common chickweedAnnual0.1 4-11 FLMHSNM232
Stellaria neglectaGreater Chickweed, Common chickweedAnnual0.1 0-0  LMHSNM10 
Stellaria nipponica Perennial0.2 -  LMHNDM10 
Stellaria puberaStar chickweedPerennial0.2 5-8 FMHFSM313
Stellaria radians Perennial0.0 -  LMHSNM10 
Stellaria sessiliflora Perennial0.3 -  LMHSNM10 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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