Broad-leaved Starflower Trientalis borealis ssp. latifolia
Forest-loving groundcover. Leaves from a terminal whorl. Grows 6-12 inches high, from small tuberous rhizomes. Conspicuous white flower is suspended upon an extremely thin stem, giving the illusion that the flower is floating above the plant. Asexual reproduction by tubers is more important than reproduction by seed.
Range: Southeast Alaska, Coastal British
Columbia south along the Western slope of Cascades to
Climate & Elevation: High winter precipitation and virtually no summer precipitation with fairly moderate temperatures. Found from sea level as high as about 4500 feet in southern portion of distribution
Local Occurrence: Common from BC South. Locally abundant in Douglas-Fir plantations typical of public and private timberlands
Habitat: Moist closed or open conifer or mixed forests, thickets
Plant Strategy Type: Shade tolerant, Seral (residual after logging). Perennial
Associated Species: Thimbleberry (Rubus parviflora), Douglas-Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), Oregon Grape (Mahonia nervosa), Red Huckleberry (Vaccinium parvifolium), Vine Maple (Acer circinatum), Whipplevine (Whipplea modesta), Rattlesnake Plantain (Goodyera oblongifolia), Bracken Fern (Pteridium aquilinum), Dogbane (Apocynum pumilum), Hooker's Fairybells (Disporum hookeri), Swordfern (Polystichum munitum), Hairy Honeysuckle (Lonicera hispidula), Western Fescue (Festuca occidentalis), Vanilla-leaf (Achlys triphylla)
May Be Collected As: Seed, tubers/rhizomes
Restrictions & Guidelines: Collect
seed in late summer, rhizomes in fall/winter. Susceptible to Sudden Oak Death Syndrome, and
as such all parts of this plant are quarantined in
Seed Germination: No action is required to break dormancy
Seed Life: Short shelf-life
Recommended Seed Storage conditions: Air dry seeds for late summer planting. Stratification results in delayed germination and extended germination time.
Propagation Recommendation: Sow seeds in flats in late summer. Cover with 1/8" soil. Moisten soil. Alternatively, propagate by divisions in early spring.
Soil/Medium Requirements: Loose organic/sandy, acidic soil
Installation Form: Rhizomes/tubers
Recommended Planting Density: Space 2-4 inches apart in large clumps
Care Requirements After Installation: Water weekly if winter and spring are exceptionally dry, otherwise, water once upon installation.
Growth Rate & Lifespan: Can be expected to live 3+ years. Dense patches will persist indefinitely and will expand as a self-sustaining colony.
Anderson, Roger C. and Orie L. Loucks. Aspects of the biology of Trientalis borealis Raf. Ecology: Vol 54, No 4, pp. 798 – 808.
PLANTS Database. http://plants.usda.gov
Pojar, J. and A. MacKinnon. Plants of
the Pacific Northwest
Data Compiled by Shannon Kachel Spring 2006