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Chickweed growth habitChickweed seedlingPlant Description: Chickweed is a creeping, mat-forming species that normally behaves as a perennial; however, it is possible for it to exist as an annual. Plants reproduce by seeds and roots growing from the nodes of stems. It tends to form dense patches.

Roots are shallow with fibrous branching from a central, but not large, taproot. Stems are mostly prostrate, reaching upwards at the ends, and ranging from 6 inches to 2 feet in length. The stems are slender, sticky-hairy, with swollen nodes. Chickweed leavesStems range in color from green to red-purple. In lawns, chickweed can form a mat that excludes other plants.  chickweed leaves are oblong to spatula shaped, with smooth edges and a pointed tip. Like the stems, the leaves are covered with long clammy hairs on the upper surface and on the veins of the lower surface.  Chickweed seedlingChickweed flowers are small (about 1/4-inch wide), white, with five petals sometimes so deeply clefted that they can appear as 10 petals. Petals are sometimes absent. The sepals (green structures covering the closed flower) are hairy and nearly as long as the flower petals. Flowers are solitary or in small groups at the end of branches, blooming from May to October.  Chickweed is considered a short-lived perennial that thrives in various habitats, from dry waste areas, disturbed soil, and sandy shores to moist woods and damp ground. The weed does not tolerate cultivation but persists in lawns and gardens. Germination is variable throughout the year, occurring mostly in late summer, fall and early spring. Chickweed is not drought tolerant, but can remain green even under the snow in winter.