Stellaria media (L.) Vill.
Common chickweed is found in both high and low maintenance turf, in sunny and shaded areas, and in many different soil types. This species tends to grow in a prostrate fashion, forming patches and is most noticeable when flowering during spring and summer.
Common chickweed is a member of the Caryophyllaceae family and is generally classified as a winter annual. Plants produce shallow, fibrous root systems and long, branching stems that grow prostrate along the soil surface and root at nodes. This species produces flowers, fruits, and seeds from spring to early fall. Seeds can germinate during spring, summer, and fall. Common chickweed produces one or two generations per year and can sometimes act as a short-lived perennial.
Common chickweed stems grow close to the ground then turn slightly upright, giving rise to leaves and flowers. Leaves are arranged opposite one another on stems and leaves on lower portions of the plant have short pubescent petioles, whereas those at the apex have no petioles. Individual leaves are ovate and pointed at the tip, approximately ½ to 1 inch in length, and with entire (non-serrated or smooth) margins.
Infestations of common chickweed can be reduced by improving turf density through fertilization, regular mowing, and use of turfgrasses well-adapted to site conditions. This weed can be controlled with various postemergence herbicides, particularly those containing dicamba, MCPP, and/or fluroxypyr.