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Giant Chickweed
Myosoton aquaticum

Not to be confused with Star Chickweed (which has a slightly prettier flower I think) I’m pretty sure this is Giant Chickweed, as the flower appears differently, and it does seem a bit bigger. It’s considered a pretty common weed. The big questions is WHY is it called “Chickweed”?

Well, supposedly it’s because chickens love to eat it, so maybe that’s why it was brought to the Americas by colonists. Maybe I should put my chickens out on it so they will clean it up out of my garden!

Alternate Names: Water Chickweed
Size: 6"-24" tall
Family: Caryophyllaceae (Pink)
Habitat: Floodplain (river or stream floodplains), forests, shores of rivers or lakes
Identification: From Minnesota Wildflowers: Leaves are egg to heart-shaped, up to 2½ inches long and 1 inch wide, toothless and often wavy around the edges. The lowest leaves are short-stalked but the upper leaves are stalkless or nearly so, and may clasp the stem. Attachment is opposite, with leaf pairs at right angles to the pair above and below. The upper leaves and stems are covered in glandular hairs, the lower more likely hairless. Stems are many branched and weak, typically sprawling on surrounding vegetation for support. White flowers are ½-inch arising from leaf axils and at the tips of branching stems. Flowers have 5 petals that are deeply divided so they look like 10. 10 white-tipped stamens surround a green ovary with 5 short, arching white styles at the top. 
All text and photos copyright © 2022 Middle Way Nature Reserve, unless noted.
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