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Uses

Toxic parts

The leaves contain saponins[1][2]. Although toxic, these substances are very poorly absorbed by the body and so tend to pass through without causing harm. They are also broken down by thorough cooking. Saponins are found in many plants, including several that are often used for food, such as certain beans. It is advisable not to eat large quantities of food that contain saponins. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish[K].

Edible uses

Notes

Young leaves - raw or cooked as a potherb[3][1][4][5][6][7][8]. They can be available all year round if the winter is not too severe[9]. Very nutritious, they can be added to salads whilst the cooked leaves can scarcely be distinguished from spring spinach[4, K]. The leaves contain saponins so some caution is advised, see the note on toxicity at the top of the page. A nutritional analysis is available[10]. Seed - ground into a powder and used in making bread or to thicken soups[11][8]. It would be very fiddly to harvest any quantity of this seed since it is produced in small quantities throughout most of the year and is very small[K]. The seed contains 17.8% protein and 5.9% fat[10].

Leaves

Material uses

There are no material uses listed for Stellaria media.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Chickweed has a very long history of herbal use, being particularly beneficial in the external treatment of any kind of itching skin condition[12]. It has been known to soothe severe itchiness even where all other remedies have failed[13]. In excess doses chickweed can cause diarrhoea and vomiting[13]. It should not be used medicinally by pregnant women[13].

The whole plant is astringent, carminative, demulcent, diuretic, expectorant, laxative, refrigerant, vulnerary[14][1][4][15][7][16][17]. Taken internally it is useful in the treatment of chest complaints and in small quantities it also aids digestion[13]. It can be applied as a poultice and will relieve any kind of roseola and is effective wherever there are fragile superficial veins[1]. An infusion of the fresh or dried herb can be added to the bath water and its emollient property will help to reduce inflammation - in rheumatic joints for example - and encourage tissue repair[13]. Chickweed is best harvested between May and July, it can be used fresh or be dried and stored for later use[14][12]. A decoction of the whole plant is taken internally as a post-partum depurative, emmenagogue, galactogogue and circulatory tonic[10]. It is also believed to relieve constipation and be beneficial in the treatment of kidney complaints[18]. The decoction is also used externally to treat rheumatic pains, wounds and ulcers[14][10][17].

The expressed juice of the plant has been used as an eyewash[18].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - this species should not need any encouragement, you are much more likely to be trying to get rid of it than trying to introduce it (eating it is one way of doing that!)[K].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Stellaria media. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

A very easily grown plant, it prefers a moist soil and a position in full sun or partial shade[6][12]. It can be very lush and vigorous when grown in a fertile soil[19], but in infertile soils it will flower and set seed whilst still very small.

A very common garden weed, chickweed grows, flowers and sets seed all year round. The flowers open around 9 o'clock in the morning and remain open for about 12 hours[14]. They do not open in dull weather[14]. The leaves fold up of a night time, enfolding and protecting the tender buds of new shoots[14].

A food plant for the caterpillars of many butterfly species.

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Stellaria media. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Stellaria media.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Stellaria media
Genus
Stellaria
Family
Caryophyllaceae
Imported References
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
?
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    Fertility
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    "image:Kaldari Stellaria media 01.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Kaldari Stellaria media 01.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


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    References

    1. ? 1.01.11.21.31.41.5 Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (1984-00-00)
    2. ? Frohne. D. and Pf?nder. J. A Colour Atlas of Poisonous Plants. Wolfe ISBN 0723408394 (1984-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.1 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.14.24.3 Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-37216-2 (1981-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.1 Loewenfeld. C. and Back. P. Britain's Wild Larder. David and Charles ISBN 0-7153-7971-2 ()
    6. ? 6.06.16.2 Larkcom. J. Salads all the Year Round. Hamlyn (1980-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.17.27.3 Hatfield. A. W. How to Enjoy your Weeds. Frederick Muller Ltd ISBN 0-584-10141-4 (1977-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.18.2 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.1 Harrington. H. D. Edible Native Plants of the Rocky Mountains. University of New Mexico Press ISBN 0-8623-0343-9 (1967-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.110.210.310.410.5 Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.1 Schofield. J. J. Discovering Wild Plants - Alaska, W. Canada and the Northwest. ()
    12. ? 12.012.112.212.3 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    13. ? 13.013.113.213.313.413.5 Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (1996-00-00)
    14. ? 14.014.114.214.314.414.514.6 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    15. ? 15.015.1 Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
    16. ? 16.016.1 Mills. S. Y. The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism. ()
    17. ? 17.017.117.2 Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (1990-00-00)
    18. ? 18.018.118.2 Phillips. R. & Foy. N. Herbs Pan Books Ltd. London. ISBN 0-330-30725-8 (1990-00-00)
    19. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    20. ? Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press (1962-00-00)

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    Facts about "Stellaria media"RDF feed
    Article is incompleteYes +
    Article requires citationsNo +
    Article requires cleanupYes +
    Belongs to familyCaryophyllaceae +
    Belongs to genusStellaria +
    Has binomial nameStellaria media +
    Has common nameChickweed +
    Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
    Has edible partLeaves + and Seed +
    Has edible useUnknown use +
    Has fertility typeSelf fertile +, Bees +, Flies + and Self +
    Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
    Has imageKaldari Stellaria media 01.jpg +
    Has lifecycle typeAnnual +
    Has mature height0.12 +
    Has mature width0.5 +
    Has medicinal partUnknown part +
    Has medicinal useAstringent +, Carminative +, Demulcent +, Depurative +, Diuretic +, Emmenagogue +, Expectorant +, Galactogogue +, Kidney +, Laxative +, Ophthalmic +, Poultice +, Refrigerant + and Vulnerary +
    Has primary imageKaldari Stellaria media 01.jpg +
    Has search namestellaria media + and chickweed +
    Has shade toleranceLight shade +
    Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral + and Alkaline +
    Has soil texture preferenceSandy +, Loamy +, Clay + and Heavy clay +
    Has sun preferenceFull sun +
    Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
    Has taxonomy nameStellaria media +
    Has water requirementsmoderate +
    Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
    PFAF cultivation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF edible use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF material use notes migratedYes +
    PFAF medicinal use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF propagation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF toxicity notes migratedNo +
    Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
    Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
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