Cerastium nutans from Vickey, South Carolina

Hi again Dr. Hill!

It’s no mow May, so more little discoveries and some I just can’t identify. Shot this one a few days ago. It’s growing in full sun, sandy soil in my backyard. Seems to be coming up in several places. Small tubular whitish flowers and very hairy stems and leaves. Please tell me what it is?

Thank you!

Hi Vickey,

this small plant is called Mouse-ear chickweed. I believe it is Cerastium nutans. The tubular structures are the fruits that open at the tip and release the tiny seeds.  The flowers are tiny, white, and in the uppermost flowers on the stem.  In this species they are even sometimes absent. It is similar to Cerastium glomeratum, which has shorter and more abundant fruits. Your pictures are superb!  Note that the sepals and stems have numerous tiny sticky glands. Cerastiums are rather common weeds that most people don’t even notice.


Dr. Steven Hill, Botanist, SCNPS

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