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Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Trientalis borealis ssp. latifolia (Hook.) HultÚn
Broadleaf starflower, Maystar, Starflower
Synonyms: Trientalis latifolia
USDA Symbol: TRBOL
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
The slender, upright stem is usually less than 8 in. tall and is topped by a whorl of light-green, lance-shaped leaves which itself is topped by a loose cluster of starry, white or pink flowers on slender stalks.
The genus name derives from the Latin word for one-third foot, referring to the height of this charming plant. Although it is commonly called Indian Potato, because of the small underground swelling at the base of the stem, modern references do not mention edibility, so caution is advised. The similar Northern Starflower (T. europaea ssp. arctica), which grows in wet places from Alaska south to northwestern California, has white flowers and obovate leaves.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Flower:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul
CA , ID , OR , WA Canada: BC Native Distribution:
San Luis Obispo & Mariposa Cos., CA, n. to B.C. & n. ID Native Habitat:
Woods below 4500 ft. USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Shade
Soil Description: Damp, cool, humus-rich soil.
Conditions Comments: An excellent ground cover for cooler climates; it spreads once established but is never invasive.
PropagationDescription: Propagate by seed, little tubers or by sod from rescue missions. Sow seeds in flats as soon as they ripen and cover with a lot of mulch. Germination is slow.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: No treatment necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes
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Record Modified: 2010-11-02
Research By: TWC Staff