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.

Grass-Leaved Stitchwort (Grass-Like Starwort) (Stellaria graminea): Images

Date Location Notes Images
May 21, 2012 Southeastern, New Hampshire I am still hoping to find a chickweed (Cerastium) one day. Both chickweed and stitchworts are members of the Pink (Carnation) Family (Caryophyllaceae). Plants in that family commonly have opposite leaves, nodes just below the leaves are swollen, flowers with five petals and five sepals. Stitchworts and chickweeds have five flower petals that are split, making it look like there are 10 petals. Stitchwort flowers have only three styles while chickweed flowers have five (rarely four) styles. Click on the closeup picture of the flower below and notice how the three, white, bent pipe-cleaner-like things in the very center of the flower are the styles.

To see what type of stitchwort this is, I had to go through the key in the botanical guide by Arthur Haines, Flora Novae Angliae: A Manual for the Identification of Native and Naturalized Higher Vascular Plants of New England:
  • All leaves are sessile (no leave stems) and plant stems are hairless.
  • Leafy bracts below the flowers are scarious (thin, dry and often paper-like and translucent) and with a green stripe down the center. See the closeup of the translucent, green-striped leafy bract below.
  • Flowers are produced at the top of the stem. Sepals 2-7 mm long (in this case 4 mm long).
  • Sepals are conspicuously 3-veined. See closeup image of 3-veined sepals below. Stems smooth. Leaf blades widest below the middle.