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

Trientalis europaea subsp. arctica L. (Fisch. ex Hook.) Hultén
northern starflower (arctic starflower)
Myrsinaceae (Myrsine family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jim Riley  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #1015)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Trientalis europaea subsp. arctica
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Species Information

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Plants from a slender rhizome and a short, scarcely enlarged, horizontal tuber.
Stems 5-20 cm tall.
Leaves mostly whorled or densely crowded near the stem apex; primary leaves 3-8, lanceolate to oblanceolate or spatulate, widest at or above the midpoint, apices acute to rounded, 2-6 cm; stem leaves reduced in size, alternate, 0.2-2 cm
Flowers 1-2 per plant; corollas usually white (sometimes faintly pink-tinged), 5-9 mm wide; corolla lobes ovate to lanceolate, apices acute to acuminate; pedicels equalling or longer than the leaves, sparsely to densely glandular, 1.5-5.5 cm. Flowering (Apr) May-Jul (Aug)
Fruits globose capsules, valvate; seeds black to reddish-brown, with a deciduous, white, net-like coating.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to wet bogs, swamps, streambanks, meadows, and coniferous forests in the lowland, montane, and subalpine zones. Frequent in coastal, nw, and se BC; AK east to NWT, south to CA, ID; Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Trientalis europaea ssp. arctica

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) 0 563 1989
Slope Gradient (%) 0 8 90
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 342 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 6 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(6), CDF(2), CWH(300), ESSF(70), ICH(66), IDF(1), MH(25), MS(6), SBPS(2), SBS(96), SWB(1)


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

Trientalis arctica Fisch. ex Hook.
Trientalis europaea var. arctica (Fisch. ex Hook.) Ledeb.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References