Mouse Ear Chickweed

Biological Name:

Mouse-Ear-Chickweed – Cerastium fontanum

Natural Habitat:

Mouse-Ear-Chickweed is a type of flowering plant that is native to Europe and Asia. It can be found in damp meadows and along the edges of streams and rivers.


Mouse-ear-chickweed is a type of flowering plant that is commonly found in fields and other grassy areas. It is a member of the Caryophyllaceae family which also includes plants such as carnations and baby’s-breath. Mouse-ear-chickweed is an annual or perennial plant that produces small white or yellow flowers and clusters of seeds. The plant is often used as a cover crop to improve soil health and suppress weeds. It is also known for its ability to tolerate a wide range of growing conditions including wet or dry soils. In some areas mouse-ear-chickweed is considered a weed because of its ability to invade cultivated areas and cause allergies and other health problems.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Is common mouse-ear chickweed edible?
A: Other less common species of chickweed, also edible, grow throughout the North America. Mouse-ear chickweed (Cerastium vulgatum), also with opposite leaves, is hairy all over. It’s good cooked, but you won’t enjoy it raw unless you like eating hairy food!

Q: Can chickweed be poisonous?
A: It is important to note that extremely large amounts of chickweed are needed for the herb to be toxic.

Q: What happens if you eat chickweed?
A: Its flowers and leaves are, indeed, edible, though in large quantities the saponoids it contains can cause stomach upset. Chickweed flowers and leaves can be eaten raw or cooked.

Q: Is chickweed good for anything?
A: Chickweed is a plant. The leaf is used to make medicine. Chickweed is used for stomach and bowel problems, lung diseases, wounds and skin ulcers, joint pain, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses. In foods, chickweed is eaten in salads or served as cooked greens.

Q: Why is chickweed invasive?
A: Ecological Impacts: Common chickweed is able to create dense mats of shoots up to 12 inches long, shading young seedlings of other plants. It invades, spreads, and out-competes other spring annuals.

Q: Is mouse-ear chickweed invasive?
A: Mouse-eared chickweed, native to Europe, is one of the most widespread invasive plants in the world, distributed throughout the temperate and subarctic zones. It is found throughout North America.

Q: Should I pull out chickweed?
A: The best way to kill chickweed is by pulling as much of it out of the ground as possible by hand. Both species have shallow roots and can be easily removed by hoeing or hand pulling. However, since new plants can develop from mouse-ear rootstock, removing the entire plant is how to kill chickweed.

Q: Why is chickweed a problem?
A: Chickweed damage It competes with plants for nutrients and water and can harbour viruses that are then spread by aphids to other plants. One of the biggest problems with chickweed is that it produces huge quantities of seeds – an individual plant can produce around 1,300 seeds.

Q: Does chickweed come back every year?
A: Common chickweed is an annual weed, living for only one year. It emerges in mid-to-late summer and completes its life cycle the following spring. Before it dies, each plant produces thousands of seeds that will germinate later that summer. This starts the cycle over again, thereby perpetuating your frustration.

Q: Is chickweed a good ground cover?
A: It spreads well (and quickly) to create good ground cover and protect the soil. The flowers are very pretty, though small. They attract beneficial insects, and even give clues about the weather. (Flowers close during set-in depressions, as well as in dull conditions.)

Q: What herbicide kills mouse-ear chickweed?
A: Treat chickweed in your lawn with a lawn weed control product like, Scotts® EcoSense® Weed B Gon®. The best way to prevent future chickweed problems is to maintain a thick, healthy lawn. This is accomplished by feeding 4 times a year – two times in the spring and two times in the fall.

Q: Where is the best place to plant chickweed?
A: The plant grows easily in a moist soil and full sun or partial shade. It can be very lush and vigorous when grown in a fertile soil, but in infertile soils it will flower and set seed while still very small. A very common garden weed, chickweed grows, flowers and sets seed all year round.

Q: How do you control mouse-ear chickweed?
A: If mouse-ear chickweed is an extensive problem in established turf, chemical her- bicides can bring it under control. MCPP or dicamba is effective and may be ap- plied in spring or fall. However, MCPP kills bentgrass, so dicamba is the better choice when turf includes this species.

Q: What is the best chickweed control?
A: If you like having a clean uniform lawn, we recommend using a post-emergent herbicide like Eraser 41% to kill invading Chickweed. Apply Eraser 41% after your warm-season grass has gone dormant for the winter. Eraser contains 41% Glyphosate as an active ingredient and is the best weed killer for Chickweed.

Q: What product kills chickweed?
A: Treat chickweed in your lawn with a lawn weed control product such as Ortho® WeedClear™ Lawn Weed Killer Ready-to-Use. When used as directed, this product will kill the chickweed but not harm your lawn. Apply when chickweed is actively growing in the spring or fall and always follow label directions.

Q: How does vinegar get rid of chickweed?
A: If you prefer a simple solution, use distilled white vinegar. Put it in a clean spray bottle and spray it directly on the patches of chickweed throughout your garden, making sure to coat the entire plant. Reapply the vinegar once a week until the chickweed is gone.

Q: What is a growing habit of mouse-ear?
A: Habit: Mouseear chickweed has a low growing to mounding habit. It is less prostrate than common chickweed, but certainly low growing. Flowers are usually elevated above the mounding foliage. Mouseear chickweed foliage is elliptical, with smooth margins, and very hairy.

Q: Are mouse ears edible?
A: There is one more plant that looks very similar to chickweed, but this plant is also edible—it’s called Mouse Ear Chickweed, or Cerastium fontanum. This plant looks very similar to Common Chickweed, but can be distinguished by the presence of fine hairs all along its stems and leaves.

Q: How do you take care of mouse ears?
A: Blue Mouse Ears Hosta Care A well drained humus rich soil will give you best results. They prefer a pH range of 6.0 to 6.5, slightly acidic to neutral. Full sun will scorch the leaves. These little perennials prefer to be in partial to full shade with a consistently moist soil.

Q: Why is it called the mouse’s ear?
A: Its stems are sometimes reddish in colour and these carry little, hairy leaves in pairs – hence the common name of Mouse-ear.

About the author

Samuel is a gardening professional and enthusiast who has spent over 20 years advising homeowners and farm owners on weed identification, prevention and removal. He has an undergraduate degree in plant and soil science from Michigan State University.