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

Stellaria nitens Nutt.
shining starwort (shiny chickweed)
Caryophyllaceae (Pink family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Curtis Bjork  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #15901)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Stellaria nitens
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Species Information

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Annual herb from slender taproot; stems ascending to erect, simple, solitary to few branched, glabrous or uniformly curly-hairy, threadlike, 3-25 cm tall.
Leaves opposite, confined to the lower half of the stem, the basal with a small egg-shaped blade 3-8 mm long and a slender stalk at least as long; stem leaves linear or linear-lanceolate, 5-10 mm long; stipules lacking.
Inflorescence of several flowers in large membranous-bracted clusters; petals 5 or lacking, shorter than the sepals, 2-cleft nearly to the base; sepals 5, 3-4 mm long, lanceolate, abruptly sharp-pointed, margins translucent, 3-nerved.
Capsules narrowly cylindric egg-shaped, 3-4 mm long, 6-valved; seeds 0.5-0.7 mm long, finely wrinkled-warty.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present over the Spring
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry grassy bluffs, streambanks and open slopes in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; frequent on S Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, infrequent E of the Coast-Cascade Mountains in S BC; E to SW AB and S to MT, VT, CA and MX.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Stellaria nitens

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) 470 685 821
Slope Gradient (%) 15 37 63
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
22 75 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 2 4
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: BG(2), ICH(2), IDF(3), PP(2)


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

Stellaria praecox A. Nelson

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References