Scientific Name: Steilaria media
Also known as: Mouseear Chickweed
Common chickweed is a shallow fibrous rooted winter annual which grows in moist shaded areas. The leaves are small, smooth, pointed at the tip and elliptic in shape. They are opposite on branching creeping stems, which root at the nodes. Chickweed adapts well to different mowing heights. The flowers of common chickweed are white, small star like with 5 notched petals. Common chickweed spreads by seed. Common chickweed is found throughout the United States except in the Rocky Mountains.
Common chickweed thrives in cool, moist areas. Growing conditions can be made less favorable by lightening the soil or otherwise improving drainage, especially in shady areas. Heavy, constant shade should be lightened as well where possible. Shady areas should be planted with turfgrass species which do well in the shade and which will provide maximum competition to weed species which invade shady areas.
Chemical control may be needed to eliminate invading common chickweed, especially in turfgrass areas which are thin, or in newly seeded areas. Use a selective post-emergent herbicide taking care to follow spray intervals for newly seeded areas. For optimum control, make herbicide applications to common chickweed that is actively growing and in the seedling to flower stage.
Weed Photos: Courtesy of Dr. Lambert McCartey. Clemson University. Clemson, SC.