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Little Mouse-ear

Cerastium semidecandrum

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:
Annual or Perennial
Maximum Size:
10 centimetres tall
Grassland, heathland, riverbanks, rocky places, sand dunes, seaside, walls, wasteland, waterside, woodland.

White, 5 petals
5 notched, white petals which are about 3mm long. The flowers themselves measure between 5 and 7mm in diameter. The 5 pointed sepals are slightly longer than the petals. The sepals have a silvery-coloured margin. 5 stamens. 5 styles. Insect pollinated.
A fruit capsule which is slightly longer than the sepals.
A rough, hairy annual flower with green, oblong, stalkless leaves. Annual or perennial.
Other Names:
Fivestamen Chickweed, Little Mouse-Ear Chickweed, Mouse-Ear Chickweed.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Cerastium semidecandrum, also known as Mouse-ear Chickweed, is a perennial herb in the family Caryophyllaceae. It is native to Europe and Asia, and is known for its small, white flowers that bloom in spring and early summer. The plant has small, glossy, dark green leaves and it forms a low-growing rosette. It typically grows in damp, shady areas, such as woodlands and along streambanks. It is not commonly grown as an ornamental plant, but it can be used as a ground cover or as a filler in rock gardens. It prefers a well-drained soil and it can tolerate a range of soils and light conditions. It can tolerate some shade and partial shade. It is a hardy, low-maintenance plant that can grow in a range of conditions, but it prefers moist soil. It can be invasive in some situations, so it's important to keep an eye on it and control its spread if necessary.


Little Mouse-ear (Cerastium semidecandrum) is a small, delicate, flowering plant that is native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa. It belongs to the family Caryophyllaceae and is commonly found in grasslands, meadows, and rocky areas. The plant is named after the shape of its leaves, which are small and oval, resembling the ears of a mouse.

Little Mouse-ear has a low-growing habit, typically reaching a height of around 10 cm. Its stems are slender, branching out from the base of the plant and bearing numerous small, white flowers. The flowers are star-shaped, with five petals that are deeply divided to give the appearance of ten petals. They bloom from May to September and are pollinated by insects such as bees and butterflies.

Little Mouse-ear is a hardy plant that can grow in a variety of soil types, from dry, sandy soils to moist, heavy soils. It prefers a sunny location but can also tolerate some shade. The plant has a fibrous root system that helps it to anchor itself firmly in the soil.

Little Mouse-ear has a number of medicinal uses. Its leaves and stems contain astringent compounds that have been traditionally used to treat a range of ailments, including diarrhea, bleeding, and inflammation. The plant has also been used as a diuretic and a stimulant.

Little Mouse-ear is a valuable plant for wildlife, providing food and habitat for a range of insect species. Its small, white flowers are an important nectar source for bees and butterflies, while the plant's leaves provide a food source for some moth caterpillars. Little Mouse-ear is also an attractive plant for gardens, particularly rock gardens and wildflower meadows.

In addition to its medicinal and ecological uses, Little Mouse-ear has also been used for culinary purposes. Its young leaves and shoots can be used as a garnish or added to salads, while its flowers can be used to decorate desserts or made into tea.

Little Mouse-ear has also been the subject of scientific research, particularly in the fields of ecology and botany. Studies have shown that the plant is able to tolerate a range of environmental conditions and can even grow in polluted areas, making it a potential bioindicator of environmental health.

Furthermore, Little Mouse-ear has been used in traditional folklore and literature. In some cultures, the plant is associated with love and fertility, while in others it is believed to have protective properties and is used to ward off evil spirits. The plant has also been mentioned in works of literature, such as Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

Little Mouse-ear is a great option for those looking for a low-maintenance plant. It requires little watering once established, and can even survive drought conditions. The plant is also relatively resistant to pests and diseases, making it an easy plant to care for.

One of the interesting things about Little Mouse-ear is that it has been used in traditional medicine for centuries, and is still used in some parts of the world today. Its astringent properties have been used to treat wounds and stop bleeding, while its diuretic properties have been used to treat urinary tract infections and other conditions.

The plant has also been used in cosmetics, as its astringent properties make it an effective toner for the skin. Additionally, Little Mouse-ear has been used in dyeing, as its leaves can be used to produce a yellow-green dye.

Little Mouse-ear is also a great plant for attracting pollinators to the garden. Its flowers are rich in nectar, and attract a range of beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies. The plant can also help to support beneficial insects that prey on garden pests, such as ladybugs and lacewings.

Little Mouse-ear is also an interesting plant from a botanical perspective. It is part of the genus Cerastium, which contains around 200 species of flowering plants. The genus name is derived from the Greek word "keras," meaning horn, and refers to the horn-shaped seed capsules that many species in the genus produce.

Little Mouse-ear is a relatively common plant, and is not considered threatened or endangered. However, like many wildflowers, it may be at risk due to habitat loss and degradation. Efforts to conserve and restore grasslands and meadows can help to ensure that Little Mouse-ear and other important plant species continue to thrive.

In addition, Little Mouse-ear and other wildflowers can also be incorporated into urban and suburban landscapes, providing important ecological benefits and aesthetic value. Planting native wildflowers can help to support local pollinators, reduce erosion, and increase biodiversity.

Overall, Little Mouse-ear is a fascinating and useful plant with a range of practical and ecological uses. Its small size and delicate appearance belies its hardy nature and value as a natural resource. Whether grown in a garden or protected in the wild, Little Mouse-ear is a plant worth appreciating and conserving.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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