Transformational Gardening

Disclaimer: Foraging can be fun, rewarding and provide health benefits. As a novice forager, I will be sharing my foraging experiences. However, in order to be safe, always consult with local foraging experts and guidebooks before beginning foraging. Children should learn to forage safely by being guided by experienced adults. Never ingest anything unless you are certain of the identification and safety of the plant. Some plant species are inedible and some are poisonous.

Giant Chickweed (Myosoton aquaticum) (Also known as: Cerastium aquaticum and Stellaria aquatica)

: Images
Date Location Notes Images
May 27, 2012 Southeastern, New Hampshire I found giant chickweed growing next to a corn field. Given the species name, aquaticum, I would have expected to find it near water. On the other hand, perhaps it is getting some water for the watering of the corn field. So, I went through the whole Caryophyllaceae (Pink) family to see if it could be anything else:
  • Sepals distinct or essentially so (not connate at base).
  • Leaves without stipules. I was unsure if the pictures showed stipules or something else growing out of the leaf base, so I followed the key in both directions. If those were stipules, then the key led me to the Sand Spurry genus (Spergularia) and I know this is not a Sand Spurry.
  • Flower is hypogynus -- superior ovary without a hypanthium (cup-like tissue from fusion of basal portion of sepals, petals and stamens).
  • Both sepals and petals are present.
  • Petals are deeply notched.
  • 4 or 5 styles.
  • Leaf blades 10-40 mm wide.
The simple way to identify it might be that it was 5 deeply-notched white petals with 5 styles and very big opposite leaves. The plants were growing in the sun, so I picked one plant to carry to a spot with some shade for better pictures.
Date Location Notes Images
June 3, 2012 Southeastern, New Hampshire