Open the Advanced Search

Bog Stitchwort

Stellaria alsine

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.


Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Caryophyllaceae (Pink)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
40 centimetres tall
Bogs, ditches, gardens, meadows, mountains, riversides, rocky places, swamps, wetland, woodland.

White, 5 petals
This flower looks like it has got 10 petals but in fact the 5 petals are just very deeply lobed. Flowers measure a maximum of 6mm across. Lesser Stitchwort (Stellaria graminea) is similar looking but has petals which are the same length or slightly longer than the green sepals. Bog Stitchwort has sepals which are clearly shorter than the petals. 5 sepals. 10 stamens. 3 styles. Insect-pollinated.
A long, egg-shaped, 6-parted capsule. Pale brown.
Long, narrow, opposite, stalkless leaves. Bluish green in colour with membranous margins. Square-stemmed. Perennial.
Other Names:
Alpine Chickweed, Bog Chickweed, Lesser Stitchwort.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Stellaria alsine, also known as lesser stitchwort or alpine chickweed, is a perennial herb that is native to Europe and Asia. It has small, white flowers that bloom in the spring and is known for its small, delicate leaves and its habitat in alpine meadows. The plant is often found in mountain meadows, rock gardens and alpine habitats, and is valued for its delicate foliage and showy flowers. It is also known for its medicinal properties and has been used traditionally to treat a variety of ailments such as wound healing and wound cleaning.


Bog Stitchwort, also known as Stellaria alsine, is a flowering plant that is commonly found in bogs, fens, and wetlands throughout Europe and parts of Asia. This small herbaceous plant is a member of the Caryophyllaceae family and is characterized by its delicate white flowers that bloom in the late spring and summer.

Bog Stitchwort typically grows to a height of 10-30cm and has slender, branching stems that are lined with pairs of narrow, pointed leaves. The flowers of this plant are small, white, and star-shaped, with five petals that are deeply divided to create a fringed appearance. They are borne on slender stems that rise above the foliage, and each flower has ten stamens that are tipped with bright yellow anthers. The fruit of the plant is a small, oval-shaped capsule that contains numerous tiny seeds.

Bog Stitchwort is a hardy plant that is well-adapted to life in wetland environments. Its roots are shallow and fibrous, allowing it to absorb nutrients and moisture from the soil even in waterlogged conditions. It is often found growing in clumps or mats, and can spread rapidly by both seed and vegetative reproduction.

Despite its delicate appearance, Bog Stitchwort is a tough little plant that is capable of surviving in a range of conditions. It can tolerate both acidic and alkaline soils, and is able to withstand periods of drought as well as flooding. This adaptability makes it a valuable addition to wetland ecosystems, where it provides food and shelter for a variety of insects, birds, and small mammals.

In addition to its ecological value, Bog Stitchwort has also been used by humans for a variety of purposes. In traditional medicine, the plant was used to treat a range of ailments, including coughs, colds, and skin conditions. It was also used as a diuretic and to ease digestive complaints.

Today, Bog Stitchwort is sometimes cultivated as an ornamental plant, valued for its delicate beauty and ability to thrive in wetland gardens. Its small size and attractive white flowers make it a charming addition to rock gardens and border plantings.

Bog Stitchwort is a fascinating and adaptable little plant that has an important role to play in wetland ecosystems. Its delicate appearance belies its hardiness and resilience, and its historical and contemporary uses attest to its value to humans as well. Whether found growing wild in a bog or carefully cultivated in a garden, Stellaria alsine is a plant that is well worth getting to know.

Bog Stitchwort is also known by several other common names, including Lesser Stitchwort, Bog Starwort, and Bog Chickweed. Its scientific name, Stellaria alsine, is derived from the Latin word "stellaria", meaning "little star", and the Greek word "alsine", which refers to a type of plant.

In addition to its use in traditional medicine, Bog Stitchwort has also been used in cooking. The leaves and stems of the plant can be eaten raw or cooked, and have a slightly bitter, nutty flavor. They can be added to salads, soups, and stews, or used as a garnish for dishes. The plant is also a rich source of vitamin C, and was traditionally used to prevent scurvy.

Bog Stitchwort is often associated with folklore and superstition. In some cultures, it was believed that carrying a sprig of the plant could protect against witchcraft and evil spirits. It was also said to bring good luck to those who carried it, and was sometimes used in love charms and potions.

Despite its long history of human use, Bog Stitchwort is not without its ecological challenges. Wetland habitats are under threat from a range of human activities, including drainage, agricultural practices, and urban development. In some areas, the plant is considered a weed and is actively controlled or eradicated.

As a result, the conservation of Bog Stitchwort and other wetland plants is an important issue. Efforts are underway to protect and restore wetland habitats, and to raise awareness of the importance of these ecosystems. By understanding and valuing the ecological and cultural significance of plants like Bog Stitchwort, we can work towards a more sustainable and resilient future.

Bog Stitchwort is not only a beautiful plant but it also has a role in ecosystem functions. Its leaves provide a food source for grazing animals, such as geese, rabbits, and deer. The plant's flowers attract a range of pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and flies. In turn, these pollinators help to ensure the continued reproduction and genetic diversity of the plant.

Bog Stitchwort is also valued for its ability to stabilize wetland soils. The roots of the plant help to hold the soil together, reducing the risk of erosion and maintaining the integrity of the ecosystem. This makes it an important component of wetland restoration efforts, particularly in areas that have been degraded by human activity.

Furthermore, Bog Stitchwort is sometimes used in bioengineering projects. Its fibrous roots are effective at binding soil particles together, and the plant is often used in the construction of erosion control structures, such as coir logs and brushwood bundles. These structures can help to reduce the impact of erosion and create a stable base for other wetland plants to establish themselves.

In conclusion, Bog Stitchwort is a fascinating and valuable plant that has a range of ecological and cultural uses. Despite the challenges it faces, this small herbaceous plant continues to thrive in wetland habitats throughout Europe and parts of Asia. By recognizing and valuing the importance of plants like Bog Stitchwort, we can work towards a more sustainable and resilient future for both humans and the natural world.


Bog Stitchwort filmed at Duxbury, Lancashire on the 12th May 2023.


Please remember to Like and Subscribe to the WildFlowerWeb YouTube channel at

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map