General: Perennial herb from a slender, tuber-tipped rhizome; stems erect, 10-50 cm tall, simple or branched, glabrous or appressed short-hairy.
Leaves: Opposite, heart- to egg-shaped, 2-6 cm long, more or less entire to toothed, short-hairy on the lower surface, tips pointed; stalks 1.5-4 cm long, with narrow wings.
Flowers: Inflorescence of terminal clusters of 8-12 flowers, often with 1 or 2 linear bracts at the base; flower stalks spreading to erect, becoming reflexed and about equalling the fruit; hypanthium 0.3-0.5 mm long; petals 2, white to pale pink, 1-1.5 mm long, erect, deeply notched; sepals 2, 1-2 mm long, bent downward; stigmas 2-lobed.
Fruits: Capsules, top- or pear-shaped, about 2 mm long, hooked-hairy, 1-chambered; seeds 1, glabrous.
Notes: Two subspecies occur in BC:
1. Stems glabrous; leaf bases heart-shaped; margins toothed; plants from throughout BC.................. ssp. alpina
1. Stems hairy; leaf bases from nearly heart-shaped to blunt; margins nearly entire to toothed; plants from coastal and S BC................... ssp. pacifica (Asch. & Magnus) Raven
A shade-tolerant/intolerant, submontane to montane. Western North American forb distributed more in the Pacific than the Cordilleran region. Occurs in maritime to submaritime cool mesothermal climates on fresh to very moist, nitrogen-rich soils, often with a fluctuating groundwater table. Its occurrence decreases with increasing elevation, precipitation, and continentality. Common on waterreceiving (flooded) sites in the herbaceous understory of broad-leaved forests (black cottonwood, broad-leaved maple, or red alder); often inhabits exposed mineral soil. A nitrophytic species characteristic of Moder and Mull humus forms.
Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2019. E-Flora BC:
Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia [eflora.bc.ca]. Lab for
Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British
Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed:
2020-04-05 8:47:13 PM
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