Common Mouse Ear (Cerastium Fontanum)
Key facts about Common Mouse Ear
- Height: up to 30cm
- Flowering Time: April – August
- Flower colour: White
- Growth habit: Low growing
- Habitat: Dry sandy or chalky grassland
- Appears in: Species Rich Lawn Turf
What does common Mouse-ear look like?
Tiny star-shaped white flowers shining out from the plant. Leaves are rounded and covered in short, downy hairs – just like the ears of a mouse! Stems are hairy too.
Each flower has 6-10, bright white petals with deep grooves at their edges that make them look like little white hearts.
Easily confused with chickweed.
Where to use Mouse-ear
Such a pretty little plant it would be a shame to take Mouse-ear for granted. Mouse-ear is regarded as an agricultural weed, but so are many of our beautiful garden plants such as cornflowers or poppies. Grown in the right place, this is a valuable addition to an outdoor space.
Pretty in pots, hanging baskets or borders. But we like Mouse-Ear as part of a species rich lawn. It’s low growing, reasonably tolerant of occasional mowing and attractive to pollinators. Not only that, Mouse-ear will dust your lawn with colour all through the summer.
Medicine and Folklore
Medicinally – be careful. Mouse-ear is edible and can make a healing tea to help relieve coughs and congestion BUT it looks quite similar to a plant named Euphorbia maculate which is poisonous. Make sure you know what you’re picking!
Traditionally Mouse-ear has been used to treat ladies who have miscarried. It’s also said to be helpful when battling cystitis. When cooked, it tastes like spinach – allegedly – and is highly nutritious. Don’t try eating it raw though – those little hairs on the leaves can really tickle your throat.