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Stellaria graminea

Stellaria graminea L.

Alsine graminea (L.) Britton

Stellaria graminea L. var. latifolia Peterm.

Grass-leaf Starwort, Grass-like Starwort, Little Starwort, Common Stitchwort, Grassleaf Starwort

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassCaryophyllidaeCacti, many other succulents, carnivorous plants, and leadworts
OrderCaryophyllalesIncludes cacti, carnations, amaranths, ice plants, and many carnivorous plants
FamilyCaryophyllaceaePink or carnation family
GenusStellariaFrom the Latin stella for “star’ because of the star-like shape of the flowers or some other feature
SpeciesgramineaResembling grass, grassy

About plant names...

Grassleaf starwort is native to Europe and Asia, but now common in temperate regions around the world. The flowers are small and spread out in a manner that suggests stars.

Identification: It is a low, spreading, disheveled plant, with thin, haphazardly branching stems and grasslike leaves. Stems are roughly square in cross-section. Unless the plant has something to clamber over, in which case it can reach 18" (45 cm) in height, it tends to lie close to the ground. Leaves are opposite, 1½" (3.8 cm) × ¼" (8.5 mm), smooth, and attached directly to the stem (“sessile”). Flowers are in the form of branched groups of 1-3 flowers. Each flower is about ¼" (8.5 mm) around, with five petals so deeply divided that they appear to be 10. They bloom between late spring and early summer.

Online References:

Stellaria graminea at Illinois Wildflowers

Stellaria graminea on the Connecticut Botanical Society's Connecticut wildflowers site

Stellaria graminea on Turner Photographics' Wildflowers site

Stellaria graminea from the Jepson Manual

Stellaria graminea on eFloras

Stellaria graminea (Grass-leaf Starwort, Grass-like Starwort, Little Starwort, Common Stitchwort, Grassleaf Starwort)

6/16/2013 · Birch Point State Park, Owl’s Head, ME
≈ 5 × 3½" (13 × 9.3 cm) ID is uncertain

Stellaria graminea (Grass-leaf Starwort, Grass-like Starwort, Little Starwort, Common Stitchwort, Grassleaf Starwort)

6/16/2013 · Birch Point State Park, Owl’s Head, ME
≈ 6 × 4" (16 × 10 cm) ID is uncertain

Stellaria graminea (Grass-leaf Starwort, Grass-like Starwort, Little Starwort, Common Stitchwort, Grassleaf Starwort)

7/6/2017 · Mt. Watatic, access road, Ashby, MA
≈ 3½ × 3½" (9.8 × 9.2 cm)

Stellaria graminea (Grass-leaf Starwort, Grass-like Starwort, Little Starwort, Common Stitchwort, Grassleaf Starwort)

5/27/2014 · Dunstable Rural Land Trust, Dunstable, MA
≈ 6 × 5" (14 × 13 cm)

Stellaria graminea description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 14 May 2016.

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Stellaria graminea (Grass-leaf Starwort, Grass-like Starwort, Little Starwort, Common Stitchwort, Grassleaf Starwort)

6/16/2013 · Birch Point State Park, Owl’s Head, ME
≈ 9 × 6" (22 × 14 cm) ID is uncertain

Stellaria graminea (Grass-leaf Starwort, Grass-like Starwort, Little Starwort, Common Stitchwort, Grassleaf Starwort)

5/21/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 9 × 7" (22 × 18 cm)

Stellaria graminea (Grass-leaf Starwort, Grass-like Starwort, Little Starwort, Common Stitchwort, Grassleaf Starwort)

The stitchwort foliage is the linear, grass-like leaves. · 5/21/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 11 × 7" (27 × 18 cm)

Stellaria graminea (Grass-leaf Starwort, Grass-like Starwort, Little Starwort, Common Stitchwort, Grassleaf Starwort)

6/29/2014 · Mount Agamenticus, York, ME
≈ 7 × 10" (16 × 25 cm)

Stellaria graminea (Grass-leaf Starwort, Grass-like Starwort, Little Starwort, Common Stitchwort, Grassleaf Starwort)

6/27/2013 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 6 × 3½" (14 × 9.6 cm)

Stellaria graminea (Grass-leaf Starwort, Grass-like Starwort, Little Starwort, Common Stitchwort, Grassleaf Starwort)

8/1/2009 · Stan & Connie’s, Falmouth, ME
≈ 5 × 3½" (13 × 8.8 cm) ID is uncertain

Stellaria graminea (Grass-leaf Starwort, Grass-like Starwort, Little Starwort, Common Stitchwort, Grassleaf Starwort)

5/29/2010 · Maine Audubon Gilsland Farm Audubon Center, Falmouth, ME
≈ 12 × 8" (31 × 20 cm)

Range:

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