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Stellaria pubera - Michx.

Common Name Star chickweed
Family Caryophyllaceae
USDA hardiness 5-8
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 High quality woodlands, especially where sandstone is close to the ground surface. Edges of rocky meadows, rocky wooded slopes, wooded bluffs, and the upper slopes of sandstone ravines or rich mesic woodlands.
Range Native to the eastern United States. Native distribution is from Illinois east to New York, south to Florida, west to Louisiana, and northeast to Kentucky; also in Nebraska and Minnesota.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade
Stellaria pubera Star chickweed

Stellaria pubera Star chickweed
Mason Brock (Masebrock) wikimedia.org


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Stellaria pubera is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 6. The flowers are pollinated by Bees, Insects.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid and neutral soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Alsine pubera (Michx.) Britton

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Leaves. Lettuce like greens - good [2-1]. Fresh greens - salad, potherb, dried and added to soups. Seeds sprouted and eaten [318-1]. Probably similar qualities to Stellaria media.

References   More on Edible Uses

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.

Although no information could be found for this species it is likely to have similar properties to Stellaria media. Stellaria media (Chickweed) has a very long history of herbal use, being particularly beneficial in the external treatment of any kind of itching skin condition[238]. It has been known to soothe severe itchiness even where all other remedies have failed[254]. In excess doses chickweed can cause diarrhoea and vomiting[254]. It should not be used medicinally by pregnant women[254]. The whole plant is astringent, carminative, demulcent, diuretic, expectorant, laxative, refrigerant, vulnerary[4, 7, 9, 21, 54, 165, 222]. Taken internally it is useful in the treatment of chest complaints and in small quantities it also aids digestion[254]. It can be applied as a poultice and will relieve any kind of roseola and is effective wherever there are fragile superficial veins[7]. An infusion of the fresh or dried herb can be added to the bath water and its emollient property will help to reduce inflammation - in rheumatic joints for example - and encourage tissue repair[254]. Chickweed is best harvested between May and July, it can be used fresh or be dried and stored for later use[4, 238]. A decoction of the whole plant is taken internally as a post-partum depurative, emmenagogue, galactogogue and circulatory tonic[218]. It is also believed to relieve constipation and be beneficial in the treatment of kidney complaints[244]. The decoction is also used externally to treat rheumatic pains, wounds and ulcers[4, 218, 222]. The expressed juice of the plant has been used as an eyewash[244].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

A good medium to high density grouncover [1-2]. Soap - Contains saponins [318-1]. Insectory: The flowers of Star Chickweed attract cuckoo bees (Nomada spp.), mason bees (Osmia spp.), Halictid bees (Augochlorella spp., Lasioglossum spp.), Andrenid bees (Andrena spp.), the Giant Bee Fly (Bombylius major), Syrphid flies, and other miscellaneous flies. Butterflies and skippers are rare visitors of the flowers. These insects are attracted primarily to the nectar of the flowers, although some of the bees collect pollen for their larvae and some of the flies feed on pollen as adults. Insects that feed on Stellaria spp., including possibly this chickweed, are the aphid Abstrusomyzus phloxae, the Pale Tortoise Beetle (Cassida flaveola), and caterpillars of a moth, Lobocleta ossularia (Drab Brown Wave) [318-1]. Domestic animal forage: Used to feed chickens [318-1].

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

A perennial herbaceous wildflower for Partial or Dappled Shade. Water Preferences: Mesic (environment or habitat containing a moderate amount of moisture). Soil pH preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5). Flowers: White/Showy. Bloom Time: Mar to May. Resistances: Humidity tolerant.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation


Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Star Chickweed

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.

None Known

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 gramineaLesser stitchwortPerennial0.5 4-8 FLMHSNM312
Stellaria jamesianatuber starwortPerennial0.5 4-9  LMHSNM300
Stellaria mediaChickweed, Common chickweedAnnual0.1 4-11 FLMHSNM332
Stellaria neglectaGreater Chickweed, Common chickweedAnnual0.1 0-0  LMHSNM10 
Stellaria nipponica Perennial0.2 -  LMHNDM10 
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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