DALS WILDLIFE SITE { WILDLIFE OF NORTHERN ENGLAND}

WILDLIFE OF NORTHERN ENGLAND

A look at the Mouse-ear plants in the UK.

At look at the Mouse=ear species commencing with the Field Mouse-ear.

Field Mouse -ear. Cerastium arvense

Image courtesy of Walter Siegmund. CC BY-SA 3.0 License.   Close up of the Flowers.

Introduction.

This is a widespread member of the Pink family Caryophyllaceae, and is distributed throughout Europe and North America and parts of South America. It is related to the Common Chickweed {see content banners above} .Here we review this bright little plant  that occurs here in the UK ,mainly in eastern Britain, it is very rare in Ireland ,Wales and Scotland.

The plant is sometimes referred to as Field Chickweed.

Image courtesy of Walter Siegmund CC BY-SA 3.o License.Cerastium arvense 5618.JPG

Description and habitat.

When this plant occurs in broad patches it can brighten the summer grasslands. It can attain the height of up to 30 cm {one foot}  The non-flowering stems tend to sprawl while the flowering stems are upright.In the UK it is a hform clusters at the base.hairy stemmed plant with long rooting shoots.

The leaves are paired at the top and  lance shaped and narrow. The petals of the flower are deeply divided and twice as long as the sepals. The seed capsule is cylindrical with ten teeth.

It is a widespread plant on dry chalky or sandy grassland banks and waysides chiefly in eastern Britain it is very rae in Ireland ,Wales and Scotland. 

Common Mouse-ear. Cerastium fontanum

As its common name suggest this is the most common species growing in grassland,on roadside verges and waste land. It is much more common in the west of Britain than the previous species. The leaves are small and shaped like a mouse's ear hence the common name. The leaves are covered by soft hairs.

The erect flower stems attain the height of between 40 and 45 cm high. [Usually between four and eight inches}The leaves are arranged opposite to each other ,they are stalkless. The non- flowering shoots tend to be prostrate.

The divided petals are white and about the same length as the sepals. 

Note the petals and sepals of the common mouse-ear are about equal in length.

Public domain Wikipedia, Courtesy of Me IKGewone hoornbloem R0019823.JPG

Sticky Mouse-ear. Cerastium glomeratum.

The most obvious indentifying features of this species are the flowers which grow in tight condensed clusters rather than singly. Alos the fact that sticky hairs cover the stem. The pale yellowish leaves are almost oval and simple 

The petals are white ,the sepals are pointed as long as the petals. The fruit {seed capsule } is relatively  long and narrow .  They flower from April until May. They occur on walls, banks, waste land and on arable land  Specimens may be encountered in flower up until September.

The flowers of Sticky mouse-ear grow in tight clusters.

Image courtesy of Jean Tosti avril {2005}.  CC BY-SA license.Cerastium glomeratum1.jpg

Other species include.

The Little Mouse -ear Cerastium semidecandrum whose petals are shorter than sepals. The bracts and sepals have silvery margins.

Shetland Mouse-ear Cerastium nigrescens . Endemic to the Shetland Island,Scotland.

Also see in content banners above. ----

Stitchwort.

Common Chickweed.

 

Reuse of images.

The images on this page maybe reused. However, the name of the relevant author mustbe attributed along with any accompanting license.

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