Stellaria media

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaCaryophyllaceaeStellariaStellaria media


An annual or a short-lived perennial herb, capable of two or three generations in a year, found in a wide range of disturbed habitats, especially in nutrient-enhanced conditions. It is a conspicuous weed of gardens or crops, also found on manure heaps, in sewage works, on walls, and often in recently established plantations. It is also a characteristic plant of coastal strand lines and sea-bird rocks. 0-950 m (Mt Brandon, S. Kerry).



World Distribution

Eurasian Wide-temperate element, but naturalised in N. America so distribution is now Circumpolar Wide-temperate.

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 7

Moisture (Ellenberg): 5

Reaction (Ellenberg): 6

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 7


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.6

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.5

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1095

Life form information

Height (cm): 50

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary

Therophyte (annual land plant)



Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Clonality - secondary

Shortly creeping and rooting at nodes

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2749

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 962

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 14

Atlas Change Index: 0.03

Weighted Changed Factor: -34

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


Distribution information

JNCC Designations


PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Atlas text references

Atlas (70a)
Grime JP, Hodgson JG, Hunt R
1988.  Comparative Plant Ecology.
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Jalas & Suominen (1983)
Sobey DG
1981.  Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 150. Stellaria media (L.) Vill. Journal of Ecology. 69:311-335.
Turkington R, Kenkel NC, Franko GD
1980.  The biology of Canadian weeds. 42. Stellaria media (L.) Vill. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 60:981-992.