Stellaria graminea L. - Lesser stitchwort.

Systematic position.

Family Caryophyllaceae Juss., genus Stellaria L. Synonyms: Stellaria hebecalyx Fenzl.

Biological group.

Rhizomatous perennial plant.

Morphology and biology.

Rhizome is thin, ramified. Stem is 15-50 cm high, ramified, ascending, square, hairless. Leaves are lanceolate or linear, slender, sharp, up to 4 cm in length and 4 mm wide, ciliate at the base. Inflorescence is loose, multi-blossomed, hypsophylls are membranous, ciliate at the margin. Sepals are lanceolate, hairless, with 3 nerves. Petals are as long as the calyx or somewhat shorter, deeply cleft in the middle. Boll is oblong, longer than the calyx. Seeds are numerous, reddish-brown, rounded reniform, wrinkled. Flowering period is July-August. Poisonous plant.


All Europe, Mongolia, Chine, Afghanistan. All European part of the former USSR, nearly all Siberia except Arctic regions, Central Asia, Northern Caucasus, the Far East.


Grows in woods, bushes, meadows, river banks. Prefers soils with adequate moisture.

Economic significance.

Infests grain crops and perennial fodder grasses mainly, tilled crops as well. Occurs in kitchen gardens, fallow lands, waste lands, field margins, along roadways, near habitation. Control measures: stubbling, deep plowing, inter-row cultivation, chemical weeding.

Reference citations:

Shishkin, B.K. 1936. Flora of the USSR. Moscow-Leningrad: Ac. Sc. USSR. V. 6: 404-405.
Shishkin B.K. 1963. Botanical atlas. Moscow-Leningrad: publishing house of agricultural literature, journals and posters. 148 p.
Tolmachev, A.I. 1976. Flora of Northeast of the European part of the USSR. Leningrad: Nauka. V. 2: 203.

© T.D. Sokolova.


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