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Mouse-eared Chickweed

Edible Edible Autumn Autumn Spring Spring Summer Summer

There are anything up to 20 species, sub species and varieties of mouse ear/Cerastium sp in the UK. They are all very similar to common chickweed but hairy rather than having a single line of hairs down the stem. They are low growing, typically 10-20cm tall, straggly and scramble over and through grass and other low growing vegetation. It has opposite pairs of oval leaves around a thin stem. The flowers are small, white and with 5 incised petals very similar to chickweed. 

Due to their hairiness they are better cooked than eaten raw in a salad.

Hedgerow Type
Common Names Mouse-eared Chickweed, Mouse-eared Chickweed, Common mouse-ear, Starweed.
Scientific Name Cerastium sp
Season Start Mar
Season End Nov
Please note that each and every hedgerow item you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.

Leaves

Simple oval leaves with no stalk, up to 20mm, with a central line. Hairy and arranged about the stem in opposite pairs. Looking like….mouse ears.

Flowers

Tiny white flowers up to 4mm with five deeply incised petals making it look like ten. Yellow stamens in the centre.

Stem

Slender green hairy stem, 2-3mm thick.

Habitat

Rough ground, hedgerows, edges of woods.

Other Facts

The mouse ears are common throughout the UK, often as very localised varieties and species such as Shetland mouse ear or in very restricted habitats such as the Alpine mouse ear that inhabits mica schist ledges in Scotland. The ‘common’ species is Common mouse ear.

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