LESSER STITCHWORT

Stellaria graminea

Carnation & Campion (Pink) Family [Caryophyllaceae]

month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug

status
statusZnative
 
flower
flower8white
 
inner
inner8yellow
 
morph
morph8actino
 
petals
petalsZ5
(10)
petals
petalsZcleft petalsZcut
 
stem
stem8square
 

5th Aug 2011, Little Langdale, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Sprawls amongst grass or heathy grass in acidic soils and at 80cm long is longer than the 60cm height of Greater Stitchwort.


5th Aug 2011, Little Langdale, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The flower buds are much narrower than on Greater Stitchwort.


5th Aug 2011, Little Langdale, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
10 stamens with reddish anthers (but bearing yellow pollen).


5th Aug 2011, Little Langdale, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Leaves in opposite pairs, mostly longer than 15mm.


5th Aug 2011, Little Langdale, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Sepals about as long as the petals, or slightly longer.


5th Aug 2011, Little Langdale, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Flowers about 5-12mm and much small than those of Greater Stitchwort (15-30mm))


5th Aug 2011, Little Langdale, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Five petals which are deeply cleft to more than half-way - more than the ~half-way of Greater Stitchwort. Petals cleft so much in this specimen that they look like ten petals unless observed very closely. Anthers have fallen off.


5th Aug 2011, Little Langdale, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Five sepals with exposed margins hairy. Edges of sepals whitish.


5th Aug 2011, Little Langdale, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Sessile (stalkless) leaves lanceolate to linear-lanceolate and are hairy at the edges near the base


5th Aug 2011, Little Langdale, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Stems are square with smooth ridges (rather than rough of Greater Stitchwort)


23rd June 2015, Moore, Warrington, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The 10 stamens and central pale-green ovary with short white style.


23rd June 2015, Moore, Warrington, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The margins of the sepals are semi-translucent and without colour.


Probably not mistakable for Greater Stitchwort (Stellaria holostea) which although slightly shorter at only 60cm, has much larger flowers 15-30mm across and which are only cloven to just a little more than about halfway and where the petals are much longer than the sepals (about ± equal in the case of Lesser Stitchwort), the leaves greyer on Greater Stitchwort (greener on Lesser Stitchwort). Both have the same number of stamens, 10. The ridges of the angular stems feel rough on Greater Stitchwort (smooth on Lesser Stitchwort).

Possibly mistakable for : Bog Stitchwort (Stellaria alsine) which has smaller flowers (5-7mm across), is shorter at 40cm, and grows in usually un-shaded mires or sometimes in streams.

Some similarities to : Mouse-ears such as Field Mouse-Ear (Cerastium arvense) but all those have oval leaves.

Slight resemblance to : Chickweeds such as Common Chickweed (Stellaria media) but many of these have proportionately wider leaves which are oval.

It is a native perennial and grows in grassy places, often heathy and on acid soils. The flowers are white and between 5-12mm across with 5 petals which are deeply cleft, sometimes looking like 10 petals.


  Stellaria graminea  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Caryophyllaceae  

Distribution
 family8Carnation & Campion (Pink) family8Caryophyllaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Stellaria
Stellaria
(Stitchworts)

LESSER STITCHWORT

Stellaria graminea

Carnation & Campion (Pink) Family [Caryophyllaceae]