Trientalis borealis starflower Primulaceae TRBO; R, t;

 

Trientalis borealis.© 2000 Eleanor S. Saulys.www.ct-botanical-society

Trientalis borealis. © 2000 Eleanor S. Saulys.www.ct-botanical-society (Accessed 4/2014).

Trientalis borealis is a perennial herb, summer-green, 10-20 cm tall, roots associated with vesicular-arbuscular endomycorrhizal fungi (Berliner and Torrey 1989); colonial from rhizome, most reproduction is vegetative (Bierzychudek 1982), new rhizome initiated during June, can vary from 5 cm to 1 m, forms a tuber during July-Aug. in which leaves and flowers of following season will develop, tuber formation initiated by shortened photo period, later in season cool-night temperatures decrease respiratory rate and enhance carbohydrate storage (Anderson and Loucks 1973). 

Leaves in one whorl of 5-9 below flowers, 3-10 cm long, lance-shaped, flowering starts when leaves are almost fully expanded. 

Flowers white, radially symmetrical, ca 1 cm wide, 7 parted, self-fertile (Anderson and Loucks 1973) but usually pollinated by bees; blooms May-June. 

Fruit dry, a capsule ca 0.2 cm long, matures in July, capsule wall splits exposing 2-14 white seeds; fruit may persist through winter (Anderson and Loucks 1973).

 Wetland status: FAC. 

Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent. 

Origin: Native. 

Habitat: Moist, undisturbed woods, swamp forest margins, shade tolerant.