Common Chickweed (Stellaria media) just has to be our commonest agricultural weed. It grows on rich soils where there are bare patches and that can include flower beds in your garden! Where it grows it usually forms large clusters of sprawling, prostrate, bright green plants with small white flowers. There are five species of chickweed, whilst this is the most common it pays to just take a second look to make sure it is not lesser, greater, water or upright chickweed although the differences are quite clear when you know them.
It will not surprise you to learn that the name common chickweed came about as this is a plant that chickens do like to eat. So it is a common weed eaten by chickens hence to the common name. It apparently is also known as chickenwort and winterwort. Winterwort comes about as this is a plant that plays it cool and flowers all year round and can be found in flower in the middle of winter.
Common chickweed has been used as a cure for all manner of illnesses over the years and, although mildly toxic, is eaten as a leaf vegetable in Japan.