Stellaria media, chickweed, in the family Caryophyllaceae, is a cool-season annual plant native to Europe, which is often eaten by chickens. It is sometimes called common chickweed to distinguish it from other plants called chickweed. Other common names include chickenwort, craches, maruns, winterweed. The plant germinates in autumn or late winter, then forms large mats of foliage. Flowers are very tiny and white, followed quickly by the seed pods. This plant flowers and sets seed at the same time. Our garden is currently full of this weed, a sure sign of Spring's arrival (and the need to do some serious weeding)...
Stellaria media is edible, delicious and nutritious, and is used as a leaf vegetable, often raw in salads. It is one of the ingredients of the symbolic dish consumed in the Japanese spring-time festival, Nanakusa-no-sekku. The plant has medicinal uses and is a common ingredient in folk medicine. It has been used as a remedy to treat itchy skin conditions and pulmonary diseases. 17th century herbalist John Gerard recommended it as a remedy for mange. Modern herbalists mainly prescribe it for skin diseases, and also for bronchitis, rheumatic pains, arthritis and period pain. A poultice of chickweed can be applied to cuts, burns and bruises. Not all of these uses are supported by scientific evidence.
This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme,
and also part of the My Sunday Photo meme,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme.