Species Factsheets

Stellaria borealis

Boreal Starwort

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State Status: N
PBS Status: Pennsylvania Threatened (PT)
Federal Status:

Global Rank: G5 rank interpretation
State Rank: S1S2

Did You Know?

This species may become infected with an anther smut that causes the anthers to become swollen and reddish in color.

Stellaria borealis

Description

Boreal starwort (Stellaria borealis) is a small, slender, rather delicate perennial that is usually less than 45cm in height. The leaves have a lance or linear-lance shape and are oppositely arranged. The flowers are only a few millimeters long, often lack petals, and are grouped individually or in a cluster that are present from May to August. The fruit is a many-seeded capsule. Other species in the genus Stellaria have a similar general appearance and also grow in wetlands.

Rank Justification

Critically imperiled in the nation or state because of extreme rarity (often 5 or fewer occurrences) or because of some factor(s) such as very steep declines making it especially vulnerable to extirpation from the state.

PABS

Boreal starwort has been given a status of Undetermined on the Plants of Special Concern in Pennsylvania list by the Pennsylvania Biological Survey and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, based on the relatively few historical and recent records that have been documented in the state.

Habitat

The species grows in wet soil in and around seeps, springs, and streamlets in cool woods and swamps.

Survey Dates

Flowers May - August

Distribution

It occurs mainly in the northern and mountain counties in Pennsylvania.

Boreal

Management

More field work is needed in order to determine if the species should be of conservation concern. The plant is easily overlooked due to its inconspicuous appearance and wetland habitat.

Conservation Status Map

Boreal

Map Legend

NatureServe. 2017. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://explorer.natureserve.org.

https://gobotany.newenglandwild.org/species/stellaria/borealis/

  • NatureServe. 2018. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available at http://www.natureserve.org/explorer
  • Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program. 2018.
  • Rhoads, A.F. and W.M. Klein, Jr. 1993. The Vascular Flora of Pennsylvania. American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Rhoads, A.F. and T.A. Block.
  • 2007. The Plants of Pennsylvania: An Illustrated Manual. 2nd edition. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
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