Starflower (Trientalis borealis ssp. borealis)

Star Flower (Trientalis borealis) 

The Starflower (Trientalis borealis ssp. borealis) is an herb in the Primrose Family (Primulaceae) and order Primulales. The family and order name are from the Latin for "first" or "first of all," as in Prim-rose or first rose. The genus name is Latin for ⅓ foot (10 centimeters) and refers to the usual height of this plant. However, this plant can be twice that height. The species name is probably a reference to the bright, white, star-shaped flower. Each flower is about ½ inch (1.3 centimeters) in diameter, has about seven petals (Primroses typically have five petals) and seven stamens with golden anthers. It flowers from May to August.

The leaves are lance-shaped, up to four inches (10 centimeters) long and arranged in a whorl of about seven leaves from the same distance along the stem and beneath the flower. An additional, smaller leaf is usually further down on the stem beneath the whorl of leaves. It is barely visible in the picture above between the large leaves at the six o'clock and eight o'clock positions.

The fruit is a capsule containing seeds.

The root system is simple.

There is another subspecies of Trientalis borealis, the Broadleaf Starflower (Trientalis borealis spp. latifolia), that is found in the far west of the United States and Canada.

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