Cerastium fontanum

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaCaryophyllaceaeCerastiumCerastium fontanum


A tufted or mat-forming perennial herb found in a wide range of, usually fertile, habitats including neutral pastures and meadows, calcareous and acidic grassland, fen-meadows, rush-pastures, heaths and mires, springs and flushes, montane grassland, rocks and ledges, sand dunes and shingle, cultivated ground, waste places and walls. 0-1220 m (Aonach Beag, Westerness).



World Distribution

Eurosiberian Boreo-temperate element, but widely naturalised so that distribution is now Circumpolar Boreo-temperate.

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 7

Moisture (Ellenberg): 5

Reaction (Ellenberg): 5

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 4

Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.5

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.4

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1106

Height (cm): 30

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Rhizome shortly creeping

Clonality - secondary

Shortly creeping and rooting at nodes

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2805

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 985

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 14

Atlas Change Index: 1.4

Weighted Changed Factor: -73

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


JNCC Designations


Atlas text references

Atlas (68b)
Grime JP, Hodgson JG, Hunt R
1988.  Comparative Plant Ecology.
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Jalas & Suominen (1983)
Peterson SR
1969.  Biology of the mouse-ear chickweed, Cerastium vulgatum. The Michigan Botanist. 8:151-157.