Flora of Scotts Creek Watershed
Trientalis latifolia - Star-flower
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Family Name: Primulaceae
Common Names: Star-flower, Broadleaf Starflower, Western Star Flower, Pacific Starflower, Woodland Star, Indian Potato
Origin: Native to California
Habitat: Shaded places in woodlands and prairies. Below 1400 m.
Life Form and Duration: Perennial Herb
Comments on overall growth: Flat whorl of leaves atop an erect delicate leafless stem, 5-25 cm tall, with a tuberous root.
Foliage Description: Whorl of 3-8 ovate to obovate leaves at top of stalk, 2.5-9 cm long by 1-5 cm wide. Pointed at tips and attachment. Leaves generally slightly unequal in size.
Flower Description: 1 to several solitary flowers on long thin pedicels arising from center of whorl of leaves. Pedicels 1-4 cm long. Flowers pinkish, small (8-15 mm wide), flat, star-shaped with 5-9 petals (generally 6). Petals separate, ovate, with pointed tips.
Flowering Season: April-July
Fruit Type: Capsule
Fruit Description: Round, 5-valved, whitish with glandular black dots, 4-6 mm long, with few seeds.
Other Comments: Coastal Tribes of Native Americans used the root-tubers which are starchy and nutritious.