western Starflower

Photo: KEF127..Western Starflowers/Trientalis latifolia

Primrose Family
Description: Whorl of 4-8 basal leaves. The flower stem (or stems) are 10-25 cm (4-10") tall, each with a single flower, 1.3 cm (1/2") across, with 5 to 9 (usually 6 or 7) pointy petals.
Ecology: Shady and open forests at low to middle elevations.
Additional Information: Blossoms may be pure white, tinged with pink or entirely pink. It is sometime the predominate ground cover. Pacific Starflower or Broad-leaved Starflower are other common names.

The genus name derives from the Latin word for "one-third foot," referring to the height of this charming plant. Although it is commonly called Indian Potato, because of the small underground swelling at the base of the stem, modern references do not mention edibility, so caution is advised. The similar Northern Starflower (T. arctica), which grows in wet places from Alaska south to northwestern California, has white flowers and obovate leaves.

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