Myosoton aquaticum (Giant Chickweed)
|Also known as:|
|Habitat:||part shade; moist soil, thickets, along shores|
|Bloom season:||May - October|
|Plant height:||6 to 24 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: FAC MW: FACW NCNE: FAC|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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½-inch white flowers arising from leaf axils and at the tips of branching stems. Flowers have 5 petals that are deeply divided so they look like 10. 10 white-tipped stamens surround a green ovary with 5 short, arching white styles at the top.
The 5 green sepals are a little shorter than the petals, narrowly egg-shaped with a blunt tip. The sepals and flower stalks are covered with glandular hairs.
Leaves and stem:
Leaves are egg to heart-shaped, up to 2½ inches long and 1 inch wide, toothless and often wavy around the edges. The lowest leaves are short-stalked but the upper leaves are stalkless or nearly so, and may clasp the stem. Attachment is opposite, with leaf pairs at right angles to the pair above and below. The upper leaves and stems are covered in glandular hairs, the lower more likely hairless. Stems are many branched and weak, typically sprawling on surrounding vegetation for support.
Fruit is an oval capsule about as long as or a little longer than the sepals. As fruit develops, the flower stalk nods with the capsule hanging down at the tip. When ripe, the capsule splits open at the tip releasing numerous round, rusty brown seeds.
A common weed of disturbed soils.
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- Giant Chickweed plant
- dense patch of leaves
- Giant Chickweed plants
- Giant Chickweed plants
- dangling fruits
Photos by K. Chayka taken in Anoka, Chisago and Ramsey counties. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Chisago County.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?
on: 2012-06-11 22:00:15
I have photos of the flowers if there is any need.
on: 2015-10-17 09:27:00
The Giant Chickweed is common around our lake cabin. It's attractive, and doesn't seem invasive. Yet.
on: 2016-11-01 13:28:57
Chickweed can form dense colonies and smother new vegetation, as witnessed in the first growing seasons of several wetland restorations in the northern metro suburbs. But in other areas it has been observed as a few singular plants in a patch of diverse shoreline/wetland vegetation. Seems to proliferate with more disturbance.
on: 2022-10-02 20:16:05
Bottom land along the Snake River. October 2, 2022
on: 2022-11-01 09:46:53
Several years after buckthorn removal. Had ignored this but am now being overrun by it, especially in lower areas. Need control advice. Thanks!