Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Cerastium fontanum
common mouse-ear chickweed

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to California, east across North America to the Atlantic Coast.

Habitat: Disturbed ground, lawns and gardens

Flowers: March-September

Origin: Introduced from Europe

Growth Duration: Biennial, Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Bees, flies


Stiff-hairy, glandular biennial or perennial, the stems sprawling but the flowering stems erect, 2-4 dm. tall.


Leaves of the prostrate stems opposite, crowded, oblanceolate, 10-25 mm. long and 2-5 mm. broad; leaves of the flowering stems opposite, widely spaced, up to 4 cm. long and 15 mm. broad.


Flowers several in an open, dichotomously branched inflorescence; sepals 5, 4-7 mm. long, stiff-hairy; petals 5, white, bi-lobed, equaling the sepals; stamens 10; styles 5.


Capsule membranous, cylindric, slightly curved, twice as long as the sepals, opening by 10 teeth.

Accepted Name:
Cerastium fontanum Baumg.
Publication: Enum. Stirp. Transsilv. 1: 425. 1816.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Cerastium fontanum in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Cerastium fontanum checklist entry

OregonFlora: Cerastium fontanum information

E-Flora BC: Cerastium fontanum atlas page

CalPhotos: Cerastium fontanum photos

44 photographs:
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