Photo of Trientalis borealis

Trientalis borealis

Star Flower

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Petite yet stately, this spring wildflower will make an excellent addition to your woodland garden.

See Details Below


Petite yet stately, this spring wildflower is often overlooked by gardeners. It grows in dappled shade in moist woods, and will colonize into dry sandy open fields. Tiny white star-shaped flowers, usually only 1 or 2 per plant, bloom in May-June. This little beauty will make an excellent addition to your woodland garden, shade garden or naturalized area of your yard. Patience is required, as the seeds need to be cold stratified, and will begin germinating in the fall of the second year. Once growing, plants will continue to establish themselves in small colonies. By mid-summer the leaves yellow and senesce, leaving behind a small dried seed pod. Pair with other early spring blooming woodland plants such as Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginiana), Trout lily (Erythronium americanum), Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica), Cut-leaf Toothwort (Cardamine concatenata), Wild Leeks (Allium tricoccum), Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum), Pink Lady Slipper (Cypripedium acaule), and Trilliums (Trillium spp.) to mimic a natural woodland in your yard.

Wildlife Value: Star Flowers are pollinated by native bees.

Plant Details:

Plant Type: Flower, Perennial

New Jersey Native: Yes

Bloom Times: Spring, Late Spring to Early Summer

Bloom Colors: White

Deer Resistance: Some

Attracts Pollinators and Wildlife: Bees and Other Pollinators

Salt Tolerance: Unknown

Hardiness Zone: 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b

Physiographic Region: All Regions in NJ

Grows in Special Ecoregions: Pinelands

Soil Characteristics

Soil Type: Loam, Organic, Sandy

Soil Moisture: Dry, Moist

Soil pH: Acidic, Slightly Acidic, Neutral

Light Needs of Plant

Optimal Light: Partial Shade

Light Range: Full Sun, Partial Shade, Shade

Water Needs of Plant

Soil Moisture: Dry, Moist

Drought Tolerance: Medium

Size and Growth Rate

Height: .25 - .50 ft

Spread: .25 - .50 ft

Growth Rate: Slow