Mountain Chickweed
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Mountain Chickweed
ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Mountain Chickweed
Botanical name: Cerastium cerastoides    Family: Caryophyllaceae (Carnation family)
Synonyms: Stellaria cerastoides, Cerastium elegans, Dichodon cerastoides

Mountain Chickweed is a small perennial herb, only 10-20 cm tall. Stems are creeping in th lower part, rising up in the upper part, branched distally, velvety. Leaves are linear-lanceshaped, 8-20 cm long, 1.5-2 mm wide, with a long-pointed tip. Flowers are white, 1-1.5 cm across, borne in 3-7-flowered cymes, rarely singly. Bracts are leaflike, lanceshaped. Flower stalks are 1.5-2 cm long, glandular velvety, recurved in fruit. Sepals are broadly lanceshaped, 4-6 mm, margin membranous. Petals are obovate, 8-12 mm, 2-lobed for about 1/4 of their length. Stamens are 10, styles 3. Capsule is cylindric, 1-1.2 cm, 6-toothed. Mountain Chickweed is found in the Himalayas, from Pakistan to Himachal Pradesh, at altitudes of 3000-4800 m. Flowering: May-August.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh Photographed in Lahaul, Himachal Pradesh.

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