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Common Herb Species of the Northwest Forest

TREES

SHRUBS

GRAMINOIDS

FERNS & FERN-ALLIES

BROPHYTES & LICHENS

GLOSSARIES
Terminology | Pictorial

   
Trientalis borealis
Northern Starflower
Primulaceae (Primrose Family)

Description

Starflower General - a low perennial from slender, creeping rhizomes, stems simple, erect, hairless or with tiny glands; growing up to 20 cm tall.

Leaves - simple, in whorls of 5 to 9 at stem tip, with a few small, scale-like leaves below, lance-shaped, 3 - 10 cm long, stalkless or short-stalked, thin, toothless or finely toothed.

Flowers - single, or sometimes 2 or 3, on slender stalks from centre of leaf cluster, white, 8 - 14 mm across; 5 - 9 petals, lance-shaped to egg-shaped, long-pointed; appearing early-summer.

Fruit - a spherical, 5-chambered, few-seeded capsule, dispersed by wind; ripening mid-summer.

Habitat

Circumboreal; prefers open shade and moist woods; tolerant of all but the poorest soil/site conditions.

Notes

In Latin, triens means "the third part." One explanation for the derivation of the genus name is that the plant is about 4 in. (10 cm high), or 1/3 of a foot.


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