Chickweed-Mouse Ear

Pest: Chickweed-Mouseear (Cerastium fontanum ssp. vulgare)

Pest Type: Perennial broadleaf weed (behaves like annual or annual in disturbed areas)

 

Major Identifying Features: Grows up to 20 inches, it is a hairy plant with creeping mat-like stems that root from the stem joints, opposite leaves, hairy leaves and stems, tiny inconspicuous flowers

Life Cycle: Winter annual, grows from seeds, blooms from March to August

Pest Rating: Moderate

Management Rating: Moderate

Host/Season/Outbreak Information: Widespread in California in the northwestern region, Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada, up to 7200 feet, agricultural areas and disturbed sites

Damage Information: Reservoir of insects pests and plant viruses, can limit winter vegetables, reduces aesthetic value, forms a dense mat

Management Options: Cultural control by hand weeding, solarization, mulching, planting other plants (lawns), biological control by grazing sheep and birds, non-chemical control is safest.

Sources:

http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu

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