Scientific Name: Holosteum umbellatum

Common Name: jagged chickweed

Synonyms: Holosteum umbellatum ssp. umbellatum

Habit: Jagged Chickweed is a winter/spring annual that is relatively small, but branches many times from the base. The stems may be standing up or on the ground. It has a fibrous root system and spreads by self-seeding.

Leaves: Basal leaves of Jagged Chickweed are typically no bigger than 2" (50mm) long and 1/2" (12mm) wide and oblanceolate. Leaves on the stem are arranged opposite each other and are no bigger than 1 inch (25mm) long and 1/4 inch (6mm) wide. They are mostly free of hair, sometimes hair can be seen on margins. The leaves are blue/grey green (unlike other chickweeds). Each stem ends in a flower head.

Identifying Characteristics: The plant does not usually get longer than 3-8" (76-203mm) long. Hair can be seen on the stem but not typically on the leaves, only sometimes on the margins. After blooming, the plant will dry out and appear straw like. The flower tips are jagged.

Flower Seed Head: Flowers are found on each stem and bloom at different times, typically in mid spring. It is commonly one of the first to bloom. They are about 1/4 inch (6mm) wide with 5 petals, 5 narrow/oval sepals, 3-5 states, and 5 styles. It should be noted that the petals are narrow and have jagged tips.

Seed Fruit: Seed are in capsules that are ribbed/cylindrical, with the tops open where 6 teeth can be seen. The seeds themselves can be seen as rectangular with an indent in the center.

Where Found: It can be found in fields or in residential areas.

  • Life cycle: winter annual

  • Milky sap: Not Present

  • Plant type: Herb

  • Thorns: Not Present

  • Plant family: Caryophyllaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: opposite

  • Leaf shape: lance; oval; round

  • Ochrea: Not Present

  • Leaf margin: entire

  • Stem hairs: no hairs

  • Flower color: white

  • Growth habit: upright and nonwoody; prostrate and nonwoody

  • Stem: round or oval

  • Leaf structure: simple

  • Leaf hairs: no hairs; has hairs

  • Flower diameter: dime; pencil

  • Flower symmetry: radial symetery

  • Root structure: fibrous

  • Leaf stalk: shorter than leaf; none