Starflower (Trientalis borealis)

Starflower (Trientalis borealis)

Bloom time: May – June

Additional photos:

General: Starflower is a common woodland plant, particularly in Nova Scotia.

Leaves & Twigs:

  • Plants emerge in the spring from thick underground roots.
  • Later each plant will develop a shiny stem about 20 cm tall, rising out of a crown of shiny oval leaves.

Flowers & Fruits

  • One or two white, seven-petalled flowers appear on slender stalks.
  • The star-shaped flowers of this plant are among the first to appear on the forest floor every spring.
  • The flowers produce small brown pods, each with only a few seeds.

Habitat: The starflower is usually found in openings in mixed woods.

PlantWatch Pointers: Select a typical patch of plants, if the plants are very abundant, mark off a l-metre-square section to observe.

To Observe:

  • First bloom: when the first flowers are open in the observed plants.
  • Mid bloom: when 50% of the flowers are open in the observed plants.

Distribution Map:

Distribution Map

This species is monitored in:

  • Alberta
  • Manitoba
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Nova Scotia
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan

The roots of starflower were used by Aboriginal hunters to make a smoke mixture to attract deer.