It seems like so many of our spring wildflowers are WHITE! Some, like star chickweed, can easily go unnoticed because they are so small. But look closely and you’ll see something here worth admiring: the five tiny white petals of this flower are deeply lobed, such that it looks like there are 10 petals. The effect is simply starlike, and hence the first part of the plant’s common name: “Star” Chickweed. As for the second part of the name, I’ve read that common chickweed (a relative of this one, and a more common weed species) is a preferred food for chickens and other birds, because it produces an abundance of tiny seeds.
But I digress… This is a simple plant with uncomplicated morphology. The small leaves are opposite, sessile, oval to lance-shaped, and slightly fuzzy (hairy). The growth habit of the plant is sprawling, and so the overall height is rather short (6-12 inches).
Look for bright-white star chickweed lighting up the forest floor in shady, rich woods starting in April. If you spot it, take just a minute or two to admire its lovely features.