COMMON MOUSE-EAR

Cerastium fontanum

Carnation & Campion (Pink) Family [Caryophyllaceae]

month8apr month8april month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept month8oct month8nov

status
statusZnative
 
flower
flower8white
 
inner
inner8cream
 
morph
morph8actino
 
petals
petalsZ5
 
petals
petalsZcleft petalsZcut
 
stem
stem8round
 
stem
stem8square
rarely
sex
sexZbisexual
 

29th April 2019, Brockworth. Photo: © Mike Baldwin
Common Mouse-ear only branches near the top, in either 1 or possibly 2 branches. If it branches 4 or more times much the way down it is probably some other Mouse-ear.

These specimens have square stems although most other specimens seem to have round stems.



17th April 2007, a pub, Gurnett, Macclesfield, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD
It can be either tufted or matted; here the latter; this one earlier in the year and not yet properly flowering.


17th April 2007, a pub, Gurnett, Macclesfield, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD
Although the longer stems are flowering. The book says it is in a vegetative state when procumbent but the flowers in an ascending state. Meethinks it knows not what it doeth.


18th Sept 2008, Rochdale Canal, Castleton, Gtr. M/cr. Photo: © RWD
If it branches then it branches near the top, not near the ground. Two flowers here are in the fruiting stage being flatter and slightly curved-upwards.


21st April 2019, Brockworth. Photo: © Mike Baldwin
This specimen is not branched at all. They grow up to 50cm high. It's lower leaves have turned reddish-brown. The leaves are stalkless, well-separated and in opposite pairs in quadrature up the often square stem.


18th Sept 2008, Rochdale Canal, Castleton, Gtr. M/cr. Photo: © RWD
They can be either sparsely hairy or densely hairy, with the hairs usually being without glands, but sometimes with only a few glandular hairs.


18th Sept 2008, Rochdale Canal, Castleton, Gtr. M/cr. Photo: © RWD
This one past its flowering stage and elongating as it turns to fruit, becoming flatter near the tip.


3rd June 2018, Cotswold Farm. Photo: © Mike Baldwin
The petals can be either slightly longer or slightly shorter than the sepals, which have a narrow translucent-white edge to them. Only very rarely are the petals nearly twice as long as the sepals and usually less than 1.7 times as long as the sepals.


16th May 2018, Brockworth. Photo: © Mike Baldwin
Only very rarely are the petals nearly twice as long as the sepals, but here just slightly longer, nowhere near twice.


9th July 2008, Haweswater, nr. Gait Barrows, Lancashire. Photo: © RWD
The flowers have 5 white petals slightly wider near the middle which are cut with a deep nick.


8th May 2017, Bentham. Photo: © Mike Baldwin
There are 5 separated white styles in the centre surrounded by 10 cream-coloured anthers.


6th May 2018, Port Gavern. Photo: © Mike Baldwin
The leaves are rounded-oblong with blunt tips and hairy.


Not to be semantically confused with : Mouse-Ear-Hawkweed (Pilosella officinarum), Mousetail (Myosurus minimus) nor with Mousetail Plant (Arisarum proboscideum) [plants with similar names from differing families]

Common Mouse-ear has three confusing sub-species, ssp. vulgare, ssp. holostenoides and and ssp. scoticum all of which Clive Stace the famous taxonomist thinks might all be better placed into just one sub-species.

Hybridizes with : Arctic Mouse-Ear (Cerastium nigrescens) to produce Cerastium × richardsonii which has been found in both Snowdonia and the Scottish Highlands but is mostly sterile and intermediate in characteristics between the two.

Some similarities to : several other Mouse-ears


  Cerastium fontanum  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Caryophyllaceae  

Distribution
 family8Carnation & Campion (Pink) family8Caryophyllaceae
 BSBI maps
genus8Cerastium
Cerastium
(Mouse-Ears)

COMMON MOUSE-EAR

Cerastium fontanum

Carnation & Campion (Pink) Family [Caryophyllaceae]