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

Streptopus streptopoides (Ledeb.) Frye & Rigg
small twistedstalk

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #83869)

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Distribution of Streptopus streptopoides
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Streptopus streptopoides ssp. brevipes

Species Information

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Perennial herb from a very slender rhizome; stems spreading to erect, 5-15 (20) cm tall, unbranched, not conspicuously bent or zigzag, fringed with coarse hairs at the nodes.
Stem leaves several (3 to 8), broadly lanceolate, 2-5 cm long, 0.5-2 cm wide, unstalked, tapering to a rounded, slightly clasping base, the margins with tiny, closely crowded teeth; basal leaves lacking.
Inflorescence of single, stalked flowers nodding or drooping from the axils of the upper 1-5 leaves, the stalks 0.3-1 cm long, curved but not kinked, smooth; flowers greenish-purple to rose-coloured with greenish tips, saucer-shaped, of 6 similar, distinct tepals, the tepals 2-4 mm long, narrowly egg-shaped, spreading, somewhat curved back at the tip; stamens 6; pistil 1, 3-chambered.
Berries, globe-shaped, red, 4-6 mm wide; seeds few.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist forests in the montane and subalpine zones; common on coastal mainland, infrequent elsewhere in BC south of 56degreeN; amphiberingian, N to AK, E to AB and S to ID and WA; E Asia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Streptopus streptopoides

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 1009 2750
Slope Gradient (%) 0 27 150
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 340 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 4 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: BWBS(1), CWH(404), ESSF(452), ICH(394), IDF(14), MH(91), MS(21), SBS(44)

Ecological Indicator Information

A shade-tolerant/intolerant, montane to subalpine, Asian and North American forb distributed more in the Pacific than the Cordilleran region. Occurs in subalpine boreal and cool temperate climates on fresh to very moist, nitrogen-poor soils; its occurrence decreases with increasing continentality. Sporadic to scattered in mature to subalpine coniferous forests on water-shedding and water-receiving sites. Typically associated with Blechnum spicant, Dryopteris expansa, Orthilia secunda, Rhytidiopsis robusta, Vaccinium alaskaense, and V. membranaceum. An oxylophytic species characteristic of Mor 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 montane boreal & cool temperate.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References