Cerastium dubium (Bastard) Guépin

Dubious Chickweed

Cerastium dubium plant

Family - Caryophyllaceae

Stem - Ascending to nearly erect, to 50 cm, often multiple from a cespitose base, glandular-pubescent.


Leaves - Opposite, entire, linear to narrowly lanceolate, sessile, to 3 cm, usually with glandular hairs.


Inflorescence - Dichasial cymes, pubescent with short glandular hairs.



Flowers - Bracts entirely herbaceous. Sepals 5-6 mm, glandular-pubescent, margins hyaline. Petals exceeding sepals, moderately deeply notched at tip, white. Stamens 10. Styles 3.



Fruit - Capsules straight, cylindrical, 8-11 mm, brown at maturity, dehiscing with 6 apical teeth.


Cerastium_dubium_fruit2Dehiscent fruit.

Flowering - March - April.

Habitat - Crop fields, disturbed areas.

Origin - Native to Europe.

Other info. - This species first appeared in the U.S. in 1966, in the state of Washington, and was first reported from Missouri in 2017. It is easily distinguished from other Missouri members of the genus, being showier and (usually) with flower centers appearing bright yellow from shed pollen. Additionally, leaves are very narrow and styles 3 in number. The plant can form huge populations in alluvial farmland.

Photographs taken near Labadie, Franklin County, MO, 3-31-2012 and 4-12-2016 (SRTurner).