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Common Mouse-ear

Cerastium fontanum

Although this little perennial wildflower is incredibly common and abundant throughout Britain, it’s often overlooked as its flowers are rather small and inconspicuous.

It grows as a small tuft or matt with stems that are sometimes reddish in colour. These carry little hairy leaves in pairs, which give the plant its common name of mouse-ear. The stems rise up at their tips and carry a few white flowers at their tips. Each of these is 3-12 mm across and formed from five petals that are deeply notched at their tips, giving them a starry appearance. Often, only one or two flowers are open at a time.

Distribution

Found throughout the UK.

Habitat

A very wide range of grassy and disturbed habitats including meadows, pastures, verges, dunes and mountain grassland. Also in wetter places fens and mires and also on heathland. Survives mowing and therefore common lawns.

Best time to see

When in flower, from April to late summer.

Distribution

Very common. Found on grassy areas across the UK.

Did you know?

  • The seed of this flower is very long-lived, surviving buried in the soil seed bank for up to 40 years. They germinate when they’re brought to the surface again by digging or disturbance.
  • This species is not covered in glandular hairs (sticky blobs on the end of hairs) like the similar plant Sticky Mouse-ear.

Other Species

Adder’s Tongue Spearwort

Adder's Tongue Spearwort

Ranunculus ophioglossifolius

Alexanders

Alexanders

Smyrnium olusatrum

Basil Thyme

Basil Thyme

Clinopodium acinos