The plants are annual and with weak slender stems, they reach a length up to 40 cm. Sparsely hairy, with hairs in a line along the stem. The leaves are oval and opposite, the lower ones with stalks. Flowers are white and tiny, with 5 very deeply lobed petals. The stamens are usually 3 and the styles 3. The flowers are followed quickly by the seed pods. This plant flowers and sets seed at the same time. This plant is common in gardens, fields, and disturbed ground as a weed. 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 edible and nutritious for humans, and is used as a leaf vegetable, often raw in salads. It is one of the ingredients of the symbolic dish consumed in the Japanese spring-time festival, Nanakusa-no-sekku. S. media contains plant chemicals known as saponins, which can be toxic when consumed in large quantities. Chickweed has been known to cause saponin poisoning in cattle. However, as the animal must consume several kilos of chickweed in order to reach a toxic level, such deaths are rare.
The plant has traditionally been used medicinally in folk medicine. It has been used as a remedy to treat itchy skin conditions and pulmonary diseases. 17th century herbalist John Gerard recommended it as a remedy for mange. Modern herbalists prescribe it for iron-deficiency anaemia (for its high iron content), as well as for skin diseases, bronchitis, rheumatic pains, arthritis and period pain. Not all of these uses are supported by scientific evidence. The plant was used by the Ainu for treating bruises and aching bones. Stems were steeped in hot water before being applied externally to affected areas.
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I appreciate your linking up and enjoy personally seeing your great photos, however, due to a work-related busy time I may have not commented lately - I shall endeavour to do so ASAP!