Common Chickweed (Stellaria Media)

Common Chickweed (Stellaria Media)

Common Chickweed

Latin name –  Stellaria media

Common names –  common chickweed, chickenwort, craches, maruns, winterweed

This little plant is found in most places in North America, Europe and Asia.  I live in northwest Georgia and have several acres of fields with lots of chickweed intermingled with all kinds of other wildflowers, grasses, weeds and other plants growing wild.  Many of the weeds my mother tries to keep out of her suburban ornamental garden are the ones I’m thrilled to find in our unkempt fields.  We do not use any pesticides or weed killers so all of those nutritious little plants are chemical free.

Most information says that Common Chickweed blooms from April through late September to early October.  This year I noticed the chickweed blooming at the beginning of February.  We have had some warm weather this year.

Common Chickweed (Stellaria Media)
Common Chickweed (Stellaria Media)

For those of you that want to go find some chickweed to work with in your area here are some tips for identifying it.


Common Chickweed has tiny white blooms that appear to have 10 petals.  They are really 5 petals that are split down the middle making each petal appear to be two petals.  The leaves are oval shaped coming to a mild point at the end.  The leaves are in pairs opposite each other on petioles with a line of fine hair on them.  The stalks also have a single line of fine hair running down the stem between the sets of leaves.  The hair switches sides of the stem in between the leaf sets.  As the leaves go up the stalk each pair is rotated 90 degrees with one pair growing north/south, the next pair growing east/west, next pair north/south and so on.   The leaves fold in when it rains and at night.

Chickweed generally likes moist areas but will quickly spread once it takes root in sunny areas.  Many homeowners spend quite a bit of time and energy trying to eradicate Chickweed from their lawns.


Common Chickweed (Stellaria Media)        Common Chickweed close up of stem

Chickweed is edible with medicinal uses.  Be aware there are some plants that resemble Chickweed that are not edible.  Two look alikes that are toxic are spurge and scarlet pimpernel.   If the plant you think might be chickweed has a white sap it is NOT Chickweed and is NOT edible.  Spurge (left) and Scarlet Pimpernel (right) are pictured below.

Spurge         Scarlet Pimpernel

Chickweed is a nutritious little weed.  According to, it is high in chlorophyll, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, iron, phosphorus, potassium, vitamims C, A from carotenese and B factors, such as folic acid, riboflavin, niacin and thiamine.   

Medicinal uses have included constipation, stomach and bowel problems, blood disorders, asthma and other lung diseases, obesity, scurvy, psoriasis, rabies, itching and muscle and joint pain.

Here’s some of ways I use Common Chickweed.

  • Dried to make tea when I have an upset stomach, losing weight or when I’m having joint or muscle pain.
  • In an herbal salve for use with insect bites and rashes.
  • In a warm moist compress for muscle pain.
  • In a flower essence for balancing my energy with those I have relationships with or balancing my needs with the needs of a group. I take this when I need to let go of a relationship that does not serve my best interest.  (You can find Common Chickweed Flower Essence in my shop.)
  • In tincture for digestive issues, losing weight, joint and muscle pain.
  • Fresh in a salad.
  • Chopped and frozen into ice cubes to use in cooking.

I also find this little plant to have a lot of magickal uses.  Here are some of the ways I have used it in my magickal practice.

  • Bath teas and salts
  • Incense
  • Smudge sticks
  • Anointing Oils, Waters & Tinctures
  • Sprinkling teas or powders
  • Carried fresh
  • Sachets
  • Amulets
  • Poppets

For the purpose of:

  • Attraction
  • Fertility
  • Love
  • Lunar Magick
  • Relationship
  • Animal Magick
  • Bird Magick
  • Peace
  • Fidelity

About the author:  Charissa founded the Pagan Business Network, North Georgia Solitaries and sits on the board of directors for Universal Society for Ancient Ministry.  She co-owns Pagan Markets with Sadie Odinsdottir of Sleeping Gryphon and co-owns Silver Pines Gifts, Charissa’s Cauldron and Kit’s Flea and owns Sacred Grove Radio, Pagan Black Book and Pagan Business Directory.

Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods or supplements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and are not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease.

Groovy Green Craft Practitioner Series: Oh my stars, here comes chickweed time again



This little star in the mist is known and loved by many a homesteader and natural food grazer, of course I am talking about chickweed. Our little Stellaria media is popping up almost everywhere here in Michigan. Chickens love it, healers dig it (see what I did there?), and tasty foods include it on the tables. Kitchen witches, raise your forks and your pestles and prepare to get to know this treasure in your midst.


You will find your prize located near wetter areas usually, although some folks have it as a ground cover. It is usually seen as a weed, since it is a very fertile annual and likes to increase its number, kind of like taxes and incense collections. It will pop up again if it was there last year, barring unnatural interference and prevention. But why prevent it? It has many uses.



Primarily, eat it. This plant, unless near a toxic area, and if identified properly, is usually perfectly same to eat. Yum yum, eat the little darling, but only in moderation, as its leaves contain saponins. While they are not necessarily harmful to us in normal amounts, no need to go overdoing it.

Unlike many wild edibles, the chickweed’s stems, leaves, flowers and seeds are all edible. It does hold nitrates and people with allergies to daisies might want to pass it by. Only the Mouse-ear chickweed has to be cooked.  – by Green Deane

This is the wonderful time of year when we are experiencing the pop of crocus and the songs of birds all around us, and this is a great time to enjoy a nice treat on your table from the garden. Understanding that we can eat in season to vary our diet is important to good health and keeping in harmony with the turning of the Wheel of the Year. There is a lovely recipe for chickweed bread at Eat The Weeds.

For the healers out there, time to get your snippers out and ready your collection satchels. This is a useful contribution to your salve cabinet. It has a virtual buffet of uses for remedies.

Try to wait until after Beltane to gather it. Remember, always take a modest harvest of any wild growing things. Be mindful and respectful when you gather, and leave something for thanks. I always encouraged my students in the Black Moon Grove to do this, and they are very good about leaving plant spikes (a thank you to our Grove Leader for that lovely innovation over just cornmeal or silver).

To explore its magickal properties, keep in mind that it is usually associated with lunar energy. Mysteries and workings with relationships, fertility (seeds are prolific, so yeah….), and birds love it, so if you are working with them this is the plant for you.

Incenses made with this plant draw in those energies as well. Dry a bit for your incense cabinet. Hang upside down for easiest uniform results.

You can find some seeds here at Alchemy Works, if you cannot find it wild. A little patch in grown in a corner, or even in an old cracked teapot, can give us just the right amount of space for this bit of tiny-petaled joy.


Enjoy this song, “Chick Weed.aif” by Brotherhood of the Jug Band Blues.