FIELD MOUSE-EAR

Cerastium arvense

Carnation & Campion (Pink) Family [Caryophyllaceae]

month8apr month8april month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8white
inner
inner8cream
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
petals
petalsZcleft petalsZcut
stem
stem8round

6th June 2015, Aughton, Ormskirk, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Spreading. Grows in dry grassland, here in a churchyard.


6th June 2015, Aughton, Ormskirk, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Grows up to 30cm high and is greyish-green, stem and leaves alike. A windy day, the flowers are windswept and they wouldn't pose standing still.


6th June 2015, Aughton, Ormskirk, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
In the grassy soil beside the top of a wall. Leaves are stalkless and in opposite pairs, strap-shaped and 10-25mm long, emerging just below branch-nodes. Plant grey-downy all over the green parts with short soft hairs.


6th June 2015, Aughton, Ormskirk, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Flowers in small groups of 3 to 5 flowers on the same plant. Often sprawls through the short grass growing from underground spreading rhizomes. Not all stems are flowering, many are shorter with just leaves.


6th June 2015, Aughton, Ormskirk, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Flowers relatively large at 12-20mm across with 5 white petals, nicked to perhaps a third of the way.


6th June 2015, Aughton, Ormskirk, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Petals twice as long as the 5 sepals underneath, which have a clear margin around the edges.


6th June 2015, Aughton, Ormskirk, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Ten long stamens with quite small cream-coloured anthers spread outwards from near the centre. The central style has 5 shorter stigmas.


6th June 2015, Aughton, Ormskirk, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Some hairs with glandular tops near the tips of shoots and upper leaves, or so the book says, but no sign of glandular hairs here...


Easily confused with : Flower () [a plant of similar name]

Not to be semantically confused with : Mouse-ear Hawkweed (Pillosella officinarum) [a low yellow-flowered plant with similar name belonging to the Asteraceae family]. Nor with Mouse-tail (Myosurus minimus) which looks like a plantain (but isn't) nor with Mouse-plant (Arisarum proboscideum) an Arum Family plant.

Hybridizes with : the similar-looking garden plant Snow-in-Summer (Cerastium tomentosum), the result being intermediate in hairiness (Snow-in-Summer being densely hairy, more so than Field Mouse-ear). It may be found near both parents but is likely to spread away from its parents.

Some similarities to : the taller 15-60cm high Greater Stitchwort (Stellaria holostea) in that it also has large and cleft white flowers 10 long stamens but with only 3 styles (and not with the 5 styles of Field Moise-ear). Greater Stitchwort is less sprawling and has a more upright stance, with longer leaves.

It grows from creeping underground rhizomes in dry limey grasslands often with bare patches, on verges or on the margins of arable land, or on dry sandy soils such as sand-dunes and sand-pits. Most often found near the coast on the Eastern side of the UK, but also on the Sefton and Fylde coasts in the west.


  Cerastium arvense  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Caryophyllaceae  

Distribution
 family8Carnation & Campion (Pink) family8Caryophyllaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Cerastium
Cerastium
(Mouse-Ears)

FIELD MOUSE-EAR

Cerastium arvense

Carnation & Campion (Pink) Family [Caryophyllaceae]