Prepared by Jennifer L. D’Appollonio, Assistant Scientist, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. Updated February 2018.
Scientific name: Trientalis borealis Raf.; also Lysimachia borealis (Raf.) U. Manns & A. Anderb.
Common name(s): starflower
Images: (to see enlargements [PC]: click on image, then right click and choose “view image”)
-spreads by creeping rhizomes
- entire to finely toothed
– typically has 7 petals, but can range 5-10
– generally flowers spring to mid-June in ME
– generally fruits June to August in ME
-deciduous and coniferous forests
-shaded moist woods
-successional old fields
-also can thrive in dry, sandy, acidic soils
-pollinated by native bees
-its Latin name means “one third of a foot” which corresponds to its average height
Hansen, R.W., S.B. Hansen and E.A. Osgood. 1991. Reproductive phenologies of selected flowering plants in eastern Maine forests. ME Agric. Exp. Station Tech. Bull. 143. 17 pp.
Heinrich, B. 1976. Flowering phenologies: Bog, woodland, and disturbed habitats. Ecology. 57(5):890-899.
Stritch, Larry. “Starflower (Trientalis Borealis Raf.).” Plant of the Week, U.S. Forest Service, www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/plant-of-the-week/trientalis_borealis.shtml.