Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Broad-leaved Starflowers (Trientalis latifolia)

While taking a walk on our property yesterday we discovered some pretty little white flowers. My older daughter expressed surprise when she noticed that the whole flower pops easily right off the stem. Here she is holding three of them:



I found that these flowers are called "broad-leaved starflowers." Other names for them are "western starflowers," "pacific startflowers," and "indian potato."

The book Plants Of The Pacific Northwest Coast: Washington, Oregon, British Columbia & Alaska says that the trientalis species are called "starflowers" because "the flower stalks are very thin, leaving the flowers apparently hanging in the air like tiny woodland stars" (page 322). You can see how thin the flower stalks are in this picture:



The following picture gives you a good look at the leaves:



Links to other sites:

http://depts.washington.edu/propplnt/Plants/Trientalis%20latifolia.htm

http://www.wnps.org/landscaping/herbarium/pages/trientalis-latifolia.html

http://green.kingcounty.gov/gonative/Plant.aspx?Act=view&PlantID=117

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