Botanical Names: Stellaria media
Common names: Common Chickweeds,Star Chickweed, Mouse-ear Chickweed.
This is a prostrate delicate broadleaf annual that roots at the nodes though younger plants are erect. The plant is light green in colour with egg shaped leaves arranged opposite each other along the stem.
If left to grow the plant can get to around 20cm in height. The stem has rows of hairs that grow along its length. The leaves are between 1-4cm in lengh. The flowers are white and either alone or in small clusters at the end of the stem and are around 0.5cm in size.
Chickweed is a great tasting plant which is very similar in flavor to peas and can be eaten both raw or cooked. It can not only be used in salads or soup but used as a cover crop to keep the soil cool in warmer months,it is also a fantastic food for chickens. Chickweed plays a prominant part in a Japanese dish consumed at the spring festival Nanakusa-no-sekku.
Used for a variety of skin complaints, rheumatoid pain, period pain, and is said to be high in iron and has been used to treat anaemia. Can be applied to joints after blanching in hot water.