The photo at right shows the upper stem, linear-lanceolate leaves and inflorescence of sticky chickweed. The glandular leaves, stem and pedicels are barely noticeable in the photo. Photographed on the southern portion of Winter Ridge in the Fremont NF...............July 12, 1998.
Sticky chickweed is a perennial wildflower with weak, ascending to erect stems from 15-40 cm from thick fleshy roots (hence the name "tuber" starwort) and slender rootstocks. The 4-sided stems are glabrous below but covered with gland-tipped hairs above and within the inflorescence. The leaves are opposite on the stems and are linear to lanceolate in shape with pointed tips. They are sessile at the base and measure 3-10 cm long and 3-10 mm wide. The margins are ciliate at the base and rounded bumps further along the margins The blades are covered with gland-tipped hairs.
The inflorescence consists of several to many flowers in axillary and terminal cymes. The cymes are often freely branched as well as leafy-bracteate. The oblong-lanceolate sepals are 3.5-5 mm long with membranous margins. They are obtuse at the tips and are covered with gland-tipped hairs. The white petals are about twice as long as the sepals, measuring up to 8 mm. They are lobed 1/5-1/3 of their length and are roughly triangular in outline.
Sticky chickweed may be found below timberline from conifer to mountain mahogany forests to open, rocky slopes and subalpine meadows.
Sticky chickweed may be found east of the Cascade Mts. from Chelan County, Washington south to the southern Sierra Nevada Mts. in California and east to Idaho, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico.