Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Moenchia erecta
upright chickweed

Distribution: Occurring west of the Cascades crest and east in the Columbia River Gorge in Washington; British Columbia to California, also in scattered locations in other parts of the central and southern U.S.

Habitat: Open, disturbed areas at low elevations.

Flowers: April-May

Origin: Introduced from Europe

Growth Duration: Annual

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Self-pollination, wasps, flies


Taprooted annual, the stems ascending to erect, usually simple.


Leaves opposite, the cauline sessile, the basal sometimes petiolate; blade 1-veined, linear to linear-lanceolate, acute, not succulent.


Inflorescences terminal, of 1-3 flowers, or flowers single in the leaf axils, subtended by a pair of leaf-like bracts; pedicles erect; sepals 4, distinct, green, lanceolate, 4-7 mm. long, the margins white; petals 4, white, not clawed or notched; stamens 4, inserted at base of superior ovary; styles 4, filiform, about 1 mm. long.


Capsules cylindric, opening by 8 teeth, about as long as the sepals.

Accepted Name:
Moenchia erecta (L.) P. Gaertn., B. Mey. & Scherbius
Publication: Oekon. Fl. Wetterau. 1: 219. 1799.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Sagina erecta L.
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Moenchia erecta in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Moenchia erecta checklist entry

OregonFlora: Moenchia erecta information

E-Flora BC: Moenchia erecta atlas page

CalPhotos: Moenchia erecta photos

12 photographs:
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