American starflower

(Lysimachia borealis)

Conservation Status
American starflower
Photo by Luciearl
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
Wetland Indicator Status
     
  Great Plains

FAC - Facultative

     
  Midwest

FAC - Facultative

     
  Northcentral & Northeast

FAC - Facultative

     
           
 
Description
 
 

American starflower is a 4 to 8 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises on a single stem from a long, slender, creeping rhizome and fibrous roots.

The stems are erect, slender, unbranched, round in cross section, and hairless. There is a whorl of 5 to 9 leaves at the top of the stem and usually one or more much smaller leaves between the middle and the top of the stem.

The leaves in the whorl are short-stalked or stalkless, lance-shaped to lance-elliptic, ¾ to 4 long, ¼ to 1¾ wide, and widest at the middle. They are narrowly wedge-shaped at the base and taper to a point at the tip with straight or concave sides along the tip. They are pinnately veined with a single prominent midvein and several lateral veins that join at the end and do not reach the margin. The upper and lower surfaces are hairless. The margins are untoothed. The leaves lower on the stem, if any, are alternate, inconspicuous, 1 32 to ¼ long, 1 32to 1 16 wide, and often more or less scale-like.

The inflorescence is usually 1, sometimes 2 or 3 flowers rising from the upper leaf axils. Each flower is solitary at the end of slender flower stalk (pedicel). The pedicel is hairless but sparsely covered with stalked glands. It is ¾ to 2 long, usually shorter than the leaves.

The flower is 5 16 to 9 16 wide, flat, and circular. There are 5 to 9, usually 7 sepals, 5 to 9, usually 7 petals, and 5 to 9, usually 7 stamens. The sepals are green and are fused at the base into a short calyx tube, then separated into lance-shaped or lance-linear lobes that are longer than the tube. The petals are white and are fused at the base into a short corolla tube, then separated into widely spreading, egg-shaped to narrowly lance-shaped lobes that are longer than the tube. The petals are longer than the sepals and are pointed at the tip. The stalks of the stamens (filaments) are fused at the base.

The fruit is an globe-shaped capsule. It ripens in mid-summer.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

4 to 8

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

White

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
  No similar species  
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Moist. Coniferous forests, mature hardwood forests, bogs. Light shade.

 
     
 
Ecology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

May to June

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 5, 7, 24, 28, 30.

 
  4/1/2021      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Uncommon

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (dicots)  
  Superorder Asteranae  
 

Order

Ericales (heathers, balsams, primroses, and allies)  
 

Family

Primulaceae (primrose)  
  Subfamily Myrsinoideae  
 

Genus

Lysimachia (loosestrife)  
       
 

Starflowers were formerly placed in the genus Trientalis, which was part of the Lysimachia complex. A recent phylogenetic analysis (Manns & Anderberg, 2009) concluded that the genus Trientalis is invalid, and the species were moved to the genus Lysimachia.

 
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

 

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Trientalis americana

Trientalis borealis

Trientalis borealis ssp. borealis

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

American starflower

northern starflower

starflower

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Calyx

The group of outer floral leaves (sepals) below the petals, occasionally forming a tube.

 

Corolla

A collective name for all of the petals of a flower.

 

Filament

On plants: The thread-like stalk of a stamen which supports the anther. On Lepidoptera: One of a pair of long, thin, fleshy extensions extending from the thorax, and sometimes also from the abdomen, of a caterpillar.

 

Pinnately veined

With the veins arranged like the vanes of a feather; a single prominent midvein extending from the base to the tip and lateral veins originating from several points on each side.

 

Rhizome

A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

 

Sepal

An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.

       
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Luciearl
       
  American starflower   American starflower
       
  American starflower    
       
       
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
   

Plant

  American starflower   American starflower
       

Flower

  American starflower    
       
       

 

Camera

     
Slideshows
   
  Starflower (Trientalis borealis)
Andree Reno Sanborn
 
  Starflower (Trientalis borealis)  
 
About

Primrose Family

 
     
  Trientalis borealis (Star-Flower)
Allen Chartier
 
  Trientalis borealis (Star-Flower)  

 

slideshow

       
 
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Other Videos
 
  MyNature Apps; Identifying Starflower, Trientalis borealis
MyNatureApps
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on May 30, 2011

How to identify Starflower, Trientalis borealis also known as May Star, Star-of-Bethlehem and Broadleaf starflower. www.mynatureapps.com

   
       

 

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