General: Perennial herb from a short, stout, fleshy rhizome; flowering stems erect, 10-45 cm tall, unbranched, smooth throughout.
Leaves: Stem leaves usually 3 in a whorl, 5-18 cm long, often as wide, broadly egg-diamond-shaped to triangular egg-shaped, smooth, unstalked or nearly so, the margins entire; basal leaves lacking.
Flowers: Inflorescence a solitary, terminal, stalked flower, the stalk 1-8 cm long; flowers star-shaped, erect to nodding; petals 3, white turning pale pink to purple with age, sometimes pinkish initially, egg-shaped, 3-6 cm long; sepals 3, green and leaf-like, lanceolate to oblong, somewhat shorter than petals; stamens 6; pistil 1, 3-chambered.
Fruits: Capsules, berry-like, green to yellowish, broadly egg-shaped, with wing-like ridges; seeds numerous, large, egg-shaped, in a sticky mass when first shed.
Notes: Two varieties occur in BC:
1. Plants 20-45 cm tall; flowers opening white; the common variety........................ var. ovatum
1. Plants 10-20 cm tall; flowers opening pink; rare on western Vancouver Island..................... var. hibbersonii (Taylor & Szczawinski) Douglas & Pojar
Moist forests in the lowland, steppe and montane zones (var. ovatum), and mossy bluff ledges and river boulders in the lowland zone (var. hibbersonii); common in S BC, south of 50degreeN; E to SW AB and S to CO and CA.
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; its occurrence decreases with increasing elevation, latitude, and continentality. Scattered on water-receiving sites; usually associated with Achlys triphylla, Galium triflorum, Polystichum munitum, Streptopus amplexifolius, and Tiarella trifoliata. A nitrophytic species characteristic of Moder and Mull humus forms.
Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2020. 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:
2022-12-01 10:50:28 PM
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