Trientalis borealis ssp. latifolia
Trientalis borealis Raf. ssp. latifolia (Hook.) Hultén
Broadleaf Starflower, Maystar, Starflower, Indian Potato
Primulaceae (Primrose Family)
Synonym(s): Trientalis europaea var. latifolia, Trientalis latifolia
USDA Symbol: TRBOL
The slender, upright stem is usually less than 10 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.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 10 inches tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug
DistributionUSA: CA , ID , OR , WA
Native Distribution: San Luis Obispo & Mariposa Cos., CA, n. to B.C. & n. ID
Native Habitat: Woods below 4500 ft.
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 Treatment: No treatment necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Trientalis borealis ssp. latifolia in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Trientalis borealis ssp. latifolia in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Trientalis borealis ssp. latifolia
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-03-01
Research By: TWC Staff