E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Stellaria crispa Cham. & Schltdl.
crisp starwort (crisp sandwort; curled starwort)
Caryophyllaceae (Pink family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #6876)

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Distribution of Stellaria crispa
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a slender rhizome; stems prostrate to ascending, several, simple, matted, glabrous, 5-60 cm tall/long.
Basal leaves lacking; stem leaves opposite, lanceolate to egg-shaped, unstalked or nearly so, 5-20 mm long, 2-15 mm wide, the margins curly; stipules lacking.
Inflorescence of solitary flowers in the leaf axils; petals usually lacking; sepals usually 5, lanceolate, abruptly sharp-pointed, rarely obtuse, 3-4 mm long, prominently 3-nerved.
Capsules straw-coloured or brownish, egg-shaped, 3.5-6 mm long, 6-valved; seeds brown, 0.7-1.1 mm long, minutely wrinkled-warty.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist seepage sites, meadows, streambanks, fields and forests in the lowland and montane zones; common in S and coastal BC, infrequent northward; circumpolar, N to AK and YT, E to SW AB and S to WY and CA; Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Stellaria crispa

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 0 613 1990
Slope Gradient (%) 0 13 120
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
1 350 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 5 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: AT(1), CDF(21), CWH(159), ESSF(37), ICH(37), IDF(5), MH(7), MS(8), SBPS(2), SBS(26)

Ecological Indicator Information

A shade-tolerant/intolerant, submontane to montane, Western North American forb distributed more in the Pacific than the Cordilleran region. Occurs on very moist to wet, nitrogen-rich soils within boreal, temperate, and cool mesothermal climates; its occurrence increases with increasing latitude and decreases with increasing elevation and continentality. Sporadic to plentiful in broad-leaved forests on water-receiving and water-collecting sites; occasionally inhabits disturbed sites. A nitrophytic species characteristic of Moder and Mull humus forms.

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Alsine crispa (Cham. & Schltdl.) Holz.
Stellaria borealis var. crispa (Cham. & Schltdl.) Fenzl ex Torr. & A. Gray

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References