(Trientalis Americana) Primrose family

Flowers - White, solitary, or a few rising on slender, wiry

foot-stalks above a whorl of leaves. Calyx of 5 to 9 (usually 7)

narrow sepals. Corolla wheel-shaped, 1/2 in. across or less,

deeply cut into (usually) 7 tapering, spreading, petal-like

segments. Stem: A long horizontal rootstock, sending up smooth

stem-like branches 3 to 9 in. high, usually with a scale or two

below. (Trientalis = one-third of a foot, the usual height of a

plant.) Leaves: 5 to 10, in a whorl at summit; thin, tapering at

both ends, of unequal size, 1 1/2 to 4 in. long.

Preferred Habitat - Moist shade of woods and thickets.

Flowering Season - May-June.

Distribution - From Virginia and Illinois far north.

Is any other blossom poised quite so airily above its whorl of

leaves as the delicate, frosty-white little starflower? It is

none of the anemone kin, of course, in spite of one of its

misleading folk names; but only the wind-flower has a similar

lightness and grace. No nectar rewards the small bee and fly

visitors; they get pollen only. Those coming from older blossoms

to a newly opened one leave some of the vitalizing dust clinging

to them on the moist and sticky stigma, which will wither to

prevent self-fertilization before the flower's own curved anthers

mature and shed their grains. Sometimes, when the blossoms do not

run on schedule time, or the insects are not flying in stormy

weather, this well laid plan may gang a-gley. An occasional lapse

matters little; it is perpetual self-fertilization that Nature


STAR OF BETHLEHEM TEN O'CLOCK STARGRASS COLICROOT facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail