Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Cerastium fontanum
Baumg., Caryophyllaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  High risk; score: 11.5 (Hawaii-Pacific Weed Risk Assessment for Cerastium fontanum)

Other Latin names:  Cerastium vulgatum L.

Common name(s): [more details]

English: common mouse-ear chickweed

Habit:  herb

Description:  "Plants perennial (rarely annual), tufted to mat-forming, often rhizomatous. Stems: flowering stems erect from decumbent base, branched proximally, 10-45 cm, softly pubescent, eglandular with straight hairs; nonflowering shoots,when present, produced proximally, decumbent, rooting at nodes, branched, 5-20 cm, often subglabrous with alternating lines of eglandular hairs; small axillary tufts of leaves usually absent. Leaves not marcescent; blade 10-25(-40) &mult; 3-8(-12) mm, densely covered with patent to ascending, colorless, long, eglandular hairs; leaves of flowering shoots in distant pairs, sessile, blade elliptic to ovate-oblong, apex subacute; leaves of sterile shoots pseudopetiolate, often spatulate, blade oblanceolate, apex obtuse. Inflorescences lax, 350-flowered cymes; bracts lanceolate, reduced, herbaceous, eglandular-pubescent, distal often with narrow, scarious margins. Pedicels somewhat curved distally, 2-10(-20) mm, longer than sepals, densely pubescent with patent, eglandular, rarely glandular hairs. Flowers: sepals ovate-lanceolate, 5-7 mm, margins narrow, apex acute, scarious, pubescent with eglandular, rarely glandular, hairs; petals oblanceolate, 1-1.5 times as long as sepals, apex deeply 2-fid; stamens 10, occasionally 5; styles 5. Capsules narrowly cylindric, curved, 9-17 mm, ca. 2 times sepals; teeth 10, erect, margins convolute. Seeds reddish brown, 0.4-1.2 mm, bluntly tuberculate; testa not inflated, tightly enclosing seed. 2n = 122-152, usually 144." (JSTOR Global Plants)

Habitat/ecology:  "The preference is full sun to light shade and moist to slightly dry conditions. This plant can tolerate a broad range of soils, including those that contain loam, clay-loam, and pebbly or gravelly material. Common Mouse-Eared Chickweed is more often found in fertile soil than other Cerastium spp. [sic] (Mouse-Eared Chickweeds). It is a larger plant that can tolerate more competition from other kinds of vegetation." In Illinois (USA): "Habitats include fields, pastures, lawns, gardens, roadsides, areas along railroads, areas adjacent to buildings, vacant lots, degraded grassy meadows, and waste areas. Areas with a history of disturbance provide preferred habitats." "The flowers attract various bees and flies; these insects suck nectar primarily, although some Syrphid flies feed on the pollen and some of the smaller bees (e.g., Halictid bees) collect pollen for their larvae. The caterpillars of several moths feed on the foliage of Chickweeds (Cerastium spp., Stellaria spp.), including Agrostis venerabilis (Venerable Dart), Haematopis grataria (Chickweed Geometer), and Lobocleta ossularia (Drab Brown Wave). Sparrows and other small granivorous songbirds eat the seeds of Chickweeds." (Illinois Wildflowers)

"Safflower grows in the temperate zone in areas where wheat and barley do well, and grows slowly during periods of cool short days in early part of season. Seedlings can withstand temperatures lower than many species; however, varieties differ greatly in their tolerance to frost; in general, frost damages budding and flowering thus reducing yields and quality. Safflower is a long-day plant, requiring a photoperiod of about 14 hours. It is shade and weed intolerant, will not grow as a weed because other wild plants overshadow it before it becomes established. It is about as salt tolerant as cotton, but less so than barley. It thrives in heavy clays with good waterholding capacity, but will grow satisfactorily in deep sandy or clay loams with good drainage, and needs soil moisture from planting through flowering, Soils approaching neutral pH are best. Safflower may be grown under irrigation or as a dryland crop. Often grown following a wetland crop, such as rice, on high watertable land without additional irrigation. For irrigation 3-3 1/2 acre-feet of water is needed; under dryland conditions 25 acre-inches are required. Ranging from Cool Temperate Steppe to Moist through Tropical Desert to Tropical Dry Forest Life Zones, safflower is reported to tolerate annual precipitation of 2.0 to 13.7 dm (mean of 38 cases = 6.9),annual temperature of 6.3 to 27.5deg.C (mean of 38 cases 17.5), and pH of 5.4 to 8.2 (-9.0) (mean of 33 cases = 7.1) (Duke, 1978, 1979)."

Ecology: "Safflower grows in the temperate zone in areas where wheat and barley do well, and grows slowly during periods of cool short days in early part of season. Seedlings can withstand temperatures lower than many species; however, varieties differ greatly in their tolerance to frost; in general, frost damages budding and flowering thus reducing yields and quality. Safflower is a long-day plant, requiring a photoperiod of about 14 hours. It is shade and weed intolerant, will not grow as a weed because other wild plants overshadow it before it becomes established. It is about as salt tolerant as cotton, but less so than barley. It thrives in heavy clays with good waterholding capacity, but will grow satisfactorily in deep sandy or clay loams with good drainage, and needs soil moisture from planting through flowering, Soils approaching neutral pH are best. Safflower may be grown under irrigation or as a dryland crop. Often grown following a wetland crop, such as rice, on high watertable land without additional irrigation. For irrigation 3-3 1/2 acre-feet of water is needed; under dryland conditions 25 acre-inches are required. Ranging from Cool Temperate Steppe to Moist through Tropical Desert to Tropical Dry Forest Life Zones, safflower is reported to tolerate annual precipitation of 2.0 to 13.7 dm (mean of 38 cases = 6.9),annual temperature of 6.3 to 27.5deg.C (mean of 38 cases 17.5), and pH of 5.4 to 8.2 (-9.0) (mean of 33 cases = 7.1) (Duke, 1978, 1979)." `(Crop Index (Purdue University))

Propagation:  "This plant reproduces primarily by reseeding itself; it can also form vegetative offsets when the nodes of the lower stems develop rootlets while lying on moist ground." (Illinois Wildflowers)

Native range:  Eurasia (Midway Atoll Vascular Plant Checklist, p. 38)

Impacts and invaded habitats:  If you know of other invaded habitats or impacts, please let us know.

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia (Pacific offshore islands)
Australia (offshore islands)
Macquarie Island introduced
GISD/IUCN (year unknown)
"On Macquarie Island, the three alien species currently present (Poa annua, Stellaria media, and C. fontanum) are widespread, but displacement of native communities by these species is, in general, minor.", cites "Frenot et al. 2005" as source, accessed 20180922
Australia (Pacific offshore islands)
Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island introduced
invasive
Orchard, Anthony E., ed. (1994)
Australia (Pacific offshore islands)
Norfolk Islands
Norfolk Island introduced
invasive
Orchard, Anthony E., ed. (1994)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más a Tierra (Robinson Crusoe Island) introduced
invasive
Atkinson, Rachel/Sawyer, John (2011)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más Afuera (Alejandro Selkirk Island) introduced
invasive
Danton, Philippe/Perrier, Christophe/Martinez Reyes, Guido (2006) (p. 552)
French Polynesia
French Polynesia Islands
French Polynesia Islands   Consortium of Pacific Herbaria (2018)
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Rapa Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Adventice
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 503)
As subsp. triviale
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island   Consortium of Pacific Herbaria (2018)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawaiian Islands invasive
Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 78)
(C)ommon weed
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 503)
As subsp. triviale
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Lāna‘i Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 503)
As subsp. triviale
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 503)
As subsp. triviale
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island   Consortium of Pacific Herbaria (2018)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
Starr, Forest/Starr, Kim (2017)
image and its metadata accessed 20180903
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Moloka‘i Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 503)
As subsp. triviale
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 503)
As subsp. triviale
Japan (offshore islands)
Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands
Bonin (Ogasawara) Islands introduced
Kato, Hidetoshi (2007)
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Naturalized
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Naturalized
Pitcairn Islands
Pitcairn Islands
Pitcairn Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Adventice
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia
Australia (continental)
New South Wales introduced
invasive
National Herbarium of New South Wales (2013)
British Columbia (province of Canada)
Province of British Columbia
Canada (British Columbia) introduced
Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. (2013)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) introduced
invasive
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Forest margins, mountain slopes, hilltop grasslands, fields, sandy soils, rock crevices, roadsides; 100-2300 m. Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Sichuan, Xinjiang, Xizang, Yunnan, Zhejiang.
China
China
Hong Kong native
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 80)
subsp. trivaile
Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia (Republic of) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Java
Naturalized
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
North Korea
North Korea
North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
South Korea
South Korea
South Korea (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand (country) introduced
invasive
Webb, C. J./Sykes, W. R./Garnock-Jones, P. J. (1988) (p. 479)
South America (Pacific rim)
South America (Pacific rim)
Chile (Republic of) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Naturalized
South America (Pacific rim)
South America (Pacific rim)
Chile (Republic of) invasive
Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 78)
(X)=present as a weed (but importance rank unknown)
South America (Pacific rim)
South America (Pacific rim)
Ecuador (Republic of) (continental) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Naturalized
South America (Pacific rim)
South America (Pacific rim)
Perú (Republic of) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Naturalized
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island introduced
invasive
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Forest margins, mountain slopes, hilltop grasslands, fields, sandy soils, rock crevices, roadsides; 100-2300 m.
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (Oregon) introduced
Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. (2013)
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (California) introduced
Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. (2013)
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (Washington) introduced
Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. (2013)
Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam (Socialist Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Canada
Canada
Canada introduced
Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. (2013)
Canada
Canada
Canada invasive
Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 78)
(C)ommon weed
Canada
Canada
Canada introduced
GISD/IUCN (year unknown)
cites "USDA-NRCS 2008" as source
Europe
Europe
England invasive
Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 78)
(C)ommon weed
Europe
Europe
France   Consortium of Pacific Herbaria (2018)
Europe
Europe
Great Britain   Wikipedia (year unknown)
"It is common throughout Great Britain[3] and Ireland.[5]"
Europe
Europe
Ireland   Wikipedia (year unknown)
"It is common throughout Great Britain[3] and Ireland.[5]"
India
India
India (Republic of) invasive
Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 78)
(C)ommon weed
North America
North America
Greenland introduced
GISD/IUCN (year unknown)
accessed 20180923
Northern Atlantic Region
Northern Atlantic Region
Saint Pierre and Miquelon introduced
GISD/IUCN (year unknown)
accessed 20180923
Subantarctic Region
Subantarctic Region
French Southern Territories introduced
invasive
GISD/IUCN (year unknown)
including &Icarat;le de la Possession (invasive status unspecified), Crozet Archipelago (invasive), Kerguelen Is. (invasive), accessed 20180923
Subantarctic Region
Subantarctic Region
South Africa (offshore islands) introduced
invasive
GISD/IUCN (year unknown)
including Marion Is. (invasive), Prince Edwards Islands (invasiveness not specified), accessed 20180923
Subantarctic Region
Subantarctic Region
South Georgia introduced
invasive
GISD/IUCN (year unknown)
including S. Georgia Is. (invasive), King Edward Point (invasiveness not specified), accessed 20180923
United States of America
United States
United States invasive
Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 78)
(C)ommon weed
United States of America
United States
United States introduced
invasive
Go Botany (year unknown)
"Mouse-eared chickweed, native to Europe, is one of the most widespread invasive plants in the world, distributed throughout the temperate and subarctic zones. It is found throughout North America."
United States of America
United States
United States introduced
GISD/IUCN (year unknown)
accessed 20180923
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
United States (other states) introduced
Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. (2013)
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
United States (other states) introduced
Hilty, John (year unknown)
included in the list of "Weedy wildflowers of Illinois", accessed 20180708
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
USA (Florida) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)

Comments:  "This species was accidentally introduced into North America from Eurasia." (Illinois Wildflowers)

Present in Hawaii (Alien plant invasions in native ecosystems in Hawaii, p. 133)

Control:  (control info not known by PIER)


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This page was created on 12 SEP 2017 and was last updated on 23 SEP 2018.