Field Chickweed (Cerastium arvense ssp. strictum)

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A creeping mat of happy white flowers!

For much of the year, Field Chickweed can go unnoticed. It humbly, slowly spreads along the ground, fitting itself between other plants. But in the middle of the spring, it covers itself in pleasant white flowers, and the green clump becomes a showpiece, even while surrounded by taller, more arrogant plants.

Normally found on dry sites including clifftops and gravelly areas, Field Chickweed does well in the garden without too much water. It is commonly visited by bees, including mason bees (Osmia spp.), cuckoo bees (Nomada spp.), sweat bees (Halictidae), and mining bees (Andrena spp.).

In the garden, it is very useful as a groundcover for dry, sunny locations. We like to fit a few of them between taller flowers, and use them as a living mulch. In very dry areas, Field Chickweed can dry out in late summer, and brings back its cheerful green leaves when the rain returns.

Field Chickweed is a variable species, and has many similar species. This subspecies is Cerastium Arvense ssp. Strictum, which is the only subspecies native to our area.

Photo Credit: "Cerastium arvense ENBLA01" by Enrico Blasutto is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Perennial (multiple years)
Full sun to mostly sun
Moist to dry
Usually less than 1 foot
Multiple white flowers across the whole plant
Bloom Period:
Mid spring through mid summer
Small, soft, fuzzy, lance-shaped leaves
Native Range:
Across the Northern United States and Canada
Typical Habitat:
Dry areas, clifftops, meadows, prairies