Chickweed – Identification, Edibility, Distribution

(Stellaria media)

common chickweed

  • Identification – 4/5 – Look for its small, white, star-like flowers made up of 5 deeply notched petals. If in doubt, close inspection will reveal a single line of hairs running down one side of the stem only.
  • Edibility – 3/5 – This common “weed” is actually a delight to eat. It has a mild, fresh, “grassy” flavour with no bitterness, making it an excellent bulker in wild salads – where mild flavours are needed to balance more pungent flavours. It cooks down well – like spinach, but try to harvest only the lush, leafy tops or it can tend towards stringyness.
  • Distribution – 5/5 – Very common and abundant in many different habitats
  • Habitat – In grass and beds in parks and gardens; waste ground, cracks in pavement; and especially under trees in fields.

Browse more edible wild plants on the the wild food guide



Chickweed is also common in urban environments - be aware of pollution!

Chickweed is also common in urban environments – be aware of pollution!


  • Marybeth Nelson says:

    Hello! I live in a townhome community in Harford County, Maryland. I live in a neighborhood where my portulacas were considered exotic and unusual. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2009. I was able to maintain a flower garden until about five years ago. Since then I began to fill in with bushes, shrubs that need little tending. In 2018 my father became very ill. This was shortly after we had a flood from a plumbing issue. Without much attention, both front and back yards have Canada thistle, Creeping Charlie (what a terrible name!), and common chickweed. We also had a number of wildflowers that looked like small daisies. Over the years, I have also collected a number of rocks. These rocks are from areas near our home, relatives’ homes, and smaller stones from places of importance in our lives. (preschool for kids, high school where I taught, place where I ran my first 3k, my daughter’s first marathon finish, Dundee, Scotland where my husband taught at the university… you get the idea. So I have decided o create a rock garden in both the front and back. I need sensible suggestions about the “weeds” I currently have. My plan is to cover the front slope with medium-sized stones with a gap large enough to plant succulents. In the back I plan to do the same but on a larger scale. Please advise about weeds I mentioned. Thanks so much.

    • Mark Williams says:

      Hi Marybeth, sounds like a great project! Hope it continues to go well. Please use the search box to research the plants i’ve explored on this website. Some of those you mention are not native to Scotland, so i’m the wrong person to ask!
      Best wishes,

  • David H says:

    A wonderful and under reported herb . High in V.C as I recall.
    David H

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