Chickweed is any of various low-growing small-leaved weedy plants of the family Caryophyllaceae several of which are relished by birds or used as potherbs.
Stellaria media, common chickweed, is a cool-season annual plant native to Europe, which is often eaten by chickens. It is commonly also called Chickenwort, Craches, Maruns, Winterweed. The plant germinates in fall or late winter, then forms large mats of foliage. Flowers are small and white, followed quickly by the seed pods. This plant flowers and sets seed at the same time. In both Europe and North America this plant is common in gardens, fields, and disturbed grounds. Control is difficult due to the heavy seed sets. Common Chickweed is very competitive with small grains, and can produce up to 80% yield losses among barley. Stellaria media is delicious, edible and nutritious, and has medicinal purposes and is used as a leaf vegetable, often raw in salads.
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