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Plant Description


Lysimachia borealis (Raf.) U.Manns & Anderb.

En: northern starflower, starflower, maystar, chickweed wintergreen
Fr: trientale boréale
Oj: wunukibugauh, waasin-niibish

Primulaceae (Primrose Family)

Click on thumbnail to see larger image.
Lysimachia borealisflpl Lysimachia borealisflw


General: An erect perennial forb, to 25 cm tall, smooth (glabrous), spreading by thin, elongate stolons. The common name refers to the flower's resemblance to a star.

Leaves: 5–10 in a single whorl at the top of the stem, leaves unequal in size; simple, thin-textured (membranaceous) , pinnately veined, sessile or nearly so; blades elliptic to narrowly lanceolate, 4–10 cm long, apices sharply pointed (acuminate), bases tapering (attenuate), margins entire; the stem may also bear 1 or more tiny, alternate, scale-like leaves below the whorl.

Flowers: Bisexual; 1–3 terminal flowers, each borne on a slender stalk (peduncle), 2–5 cm long; petals 7, white, fused (connate) at the base, forming a flat, 7 pointed, star-like corolla, to 1.4 cm across; sepals 7, green, connate only at the base, the lobes narrowly lanceolate, shorter than the corolla; stamens 7, the filaments fused (adnate) to the corolla base, anthers oblong, yellow; ovary superior, green, style 1, stigma minute. Flowering from late May to June.

Fruit: A small, globose, capsule, containing a few small black seeds.

Habitat and Range: Trientalis borealis is a circumboreal plant, common throughout most forest types in the boreal forest; it is found throughout northern Ontario.

Internet Images:

The Trientalis borealis webpage from the Saskatchewan Native Plants/Wildflowers website

The Trientalis borealis webpage from the Connecticut Botanical Sociey's Connecticut Gallery of Wildflowers website.

written by Derek Goertz

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