Mouse-Ear Chickweed
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Mouse-Ear Chickweed
ative Photo: Narendra Joshi
Common name: Mouse-Ear Chickweed
Botanical name: Cerastium fontanum    Family: Caryophyllaceae (Carnation family)

Mouse-Ear Chickweed is a short-lived perennial or annual herb, 15-40 cm tall. Stems is simple, suberect - sterile stems prostrate, flowering stems hairy all round. Basal leaves are ovate, obovate-lanceolate, ovate-spatulate, or spatulate, 5-13 × 3-10 mm, both surfaces hairy, base narrowed into a stalk. Stem leaves are nearly stalkless, ovate, oblong, or narrowly ovate-oblong, 1-3 × 0.3-1 cm, both surfaces hairy or velvety, margin densely ciliate, tip pointed. Flowers are borne in spreading, lax cymes, up to 40-flowere. Bracts are leaflike, ovate, 3-5 mm, both surfaces glandular pubescent. Flower-stalks are slender, 0.5-2.5 cm, densely glandular pubescent, recurved after anthesis. Sepals oblong- or ovate-lanceolate, 5--6 mm, abaxially densely glandular pubescent, margin membranous or narrowly so. Petals obovate or obovate-oblong, 7-9 mm, one and half to twice as long as sepals, tip 2-lobed. Stamens are shorter than petals. Capsule is cylindric, 8-10 mm, about twice as long as sepal cup, 10-toothed, teeth usually recurved. Flowering: April-June.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh
Photographed in Gulmarg, Kashmir.
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