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Water Chickweed

Myosoton aquaticum

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.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Caryophyllaceae (Pink)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
1 metre tall
Ditches, fens, marshes, riverbanks, water, waterside, wetland, woodland.

White, 5 petals
5 deeply notched petals. Flowers reach up to 1.5cm across. This species of Chickweed is best identified by its 10 bluish-coloured stamens. 5 styles.
An oval capsule.
A straggling perennial flower with fleshy, oval and pointed leaves. The leaves are sometimes wavy-edged and the lower leaves are stalked. The leaves are without hairs on the undersides but they are stickily hairy above. Water Chickweed can be an annual or perennial.
Other Names:
Giant Chickweed, Marsh Stitchwort, Water Starwort, Water Stitchwort.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Myosoton aquaticum, also known as water chickweed, is a herbaceous plant in the carnation family that is native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa. It is similar in appearance to Stellaria media (chickweed) and is often found growing in damp or wet areas such as marshes, ditches, and along the edges of streams and ponds. Water chickweed is a common weed that is often considered a nuisance by farmers and gardeners, but it has a number of medicinal properties and is sometimes used in herbal remedies. Some people use water chickweed to treat skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis, as well as to reduce inflammation and swelling. It is also believed to have diuretic and expectorant properties and is sometimes used to treat respiratory conditions such as bronchitis. Water chickweed is generally considered to be safe when taken in the recommended doses, but it is always a good idea to speak with a healthcare provider before using any new herbal remedies.


Water Chickweed (Myosoton aquaticum) is a highly versatile and adaptable aquatic plant that is native to Europe and Asia. It is also commonly known as Water Stitchwort or Marsh Stitchwort, and belongs to the Caryophyllaceae family. This plant is of great ecological and medicinal importance and is used in various traditional medicines for its therapeutic benefits.

Ecology: Water Chickweed grows in damp or wet habitats and is found in marshes, fens, ditches, and along the banks of streams and rivers. It is a robust plant and can thrive in a wide range of conditions, making it a common sight in many parts of the world.

Appearance: The plant has small, white, star-shaped flowers that bloom in the summer and autumn months. The leaves are elliptical, smooth and shiny, and grow alternately along the stem. The stems are usually between 15-50 cm long and are often trailing or sprawling in habit.

Medicinal uses: Water Chickweed has been used in traditional medicine for centuries due to its therapeutic properties. It is known to have anti-inflammatory, diuretic, and astringent effects. The plant is rich in antioxidants and is also used to soothe skin irritations, wounds, and insect bites. The leaves and stems can be consumed fresh or dried and are commonly used to make teas or infused oils.

Culinary uses: Water Chickweed has a subtle, sweet flavor and can be used as a salad green, garnish or as a herb in cooking. The leaves can be chopped and used as a substitute for parsley, and the stems can be used as a substitute for asparagus.

Water Chickweed is a highly adaptable and versatile plant that is of great ecological and medicinal importance. Whether you are looking to add a unique flavor to your food, or you are looking for a natural remedy to soothe skin irritations, Water Chickweed is definitely worth considering.

Conservation: Despite its widespread distribution, Water Chickweed is considered a threatened species in some parts of the world due to habitat loss and degradation. This plant is an important component of wetland ecosystems, providing habitat and food for various species of wildlife, such as insects, birds, and mammals. Therefore, it is important to protect and conserve the habitats where Water Chickweed grows to maintain biodiversity and ecosystem function.

Cultivation: Water Chickweed is relatively easy to cultivate and can be grown in a variety of conditions, including in pots or containers, in the ground, and in wetland gardens. It prefers a moist soil and partial shade, but can also grow in full sun if the soil remains moist. To encourage growth, it is important to keep the soil moist and to fertilize regularly with compost or organic matter.

Invasive species: In some parts of the world, Water Chickweed is considered an invasive species and has the ability to displace native plants, particularly in areas with poor soil quality or low rainfall. It is important to control the spread of this plant, especially in sensitive habitats, to prevent negative impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem function.

Water Chickweed is a highly adaptable and versatile plant that is of great ecological and medicinal importance. Whether you are looking to add a unique flavor to your food, soothe skin irritations, or support wetland conservation, Water Chickweed is definitely worth considering. It is important to be mindful of its invasive potential and to take appropriate steps to control its spread in sensitive habitats.

Uses in traditional medicine: In traditional medicine, Water Chickweed is used for various medicinal purposes. It has been used as a remedy for respiratory conditions such as bronchitis, asthma, and coughs, as well as digestive issues like indigestion, constipation, and diarrhea.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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