Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Starflower
Trientalis borealis

Family: Primulaceae
Genus: Trientalis (try-en-TAY-lis) (Info)
Species: borealis (bor-ee-AL-is) (Info)

Synonym:Trientalis americana

2 members have or want this plant for trade.


under 6 in. (15 cm)
6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

3-6 in. (7-15 cm)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

Sun Exposure:
Partial to Full Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season
This plant may be considered a protected species; check before digging or gathering seeds

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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to view:

By Todd_Boland
Thumbnail #1 of Trientalis borealis by Todd_Boland

By mgarr
Thumbnail #2 of Trientalis borealis by mgarr

By DougWatts
Thumbnail #3 of Trientalis borealis by DougWatts

By growin
Thumbnail #4 of Trientalis borealis by growin


2 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive alewife On May 15, 2004, alewife from Northfield, MA (Zone 5a) wrote:

I agree with Propagator on all except bloom time here in 5a is always in May. It has a nice white bloom and is native throughout my woods and thus have not yet tried to move it. It's neighbors are partridgeberry, checkerberry and other coniferous/deciduous understory.

Positive Propagator On May 9, 2002, Propagator wrote:

The Starflower is a very good shade garden groundcover. It thrives well in a mossy forest floor setting and appears to spread readily though it is not invasive and is easily controlled. It leafs out in April-May, and blooms in June. The plant forms a bulb similar to a Trillium bulb. The bulbs can be harvested and used to propagate the plant. to new locations.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

East Millinocket, Maine
Bridgewater, Massachusetts
Northfield, Massachusetts
Sanford, Michigan
Portugal Cove-st. Philip's, Newfoundland and Labrador
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Leesburg, Virginia

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