March 10th, 2012

Latin:  Stellaria media

Irish:  Fliodh

Chickweed is one of the most abundant weeds of cultivated ground and waste places.  The Stellaria genus comes from a large family (Caryophyllaceae) that includes cultivated ornamentals such as Pinks, Carnations and Baby’s Breath (Gypsophylia).

It has a straggling growth habit with slender stems up to 40cm long.  The leaves are small and oval and the small white flowers, which can be produced at any time of the year, have 5 petals that are lobed almost to the base.  The sepals are as long as or longer than the petals and can be quite hairy.


The main use for chickweed has been as a food for chickens and other poultry.  It was also eaten by people at times of food shortage. For example, it is believed that it was consumed by the inhabitants of Derry during the prolonged siege in 1690 and it was also eaten by desperate Irish people during the famine years of the 1840s.


It abounds at many locations around the course at many times of the year generally in places where grass is not mown closely or where soil has recently been disturbed.

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