Trientalis europaea is a plant in the Myrsinaceae family, called by the common name chickweed wintergreen or Arctic starflower. It is a small herbaceous perennial plant with one or more whorls of obovate leaves. The leaves take on a copper hue in late summer. The solitary white flowers (1–2 cm diameter, usually with 6-8 petals) appear in midsummer. Trientalis europaea occurs throughout boreal regions of Europe and Asia, but is largely replaced by Trientalis borealis in corresponding habitats in North America.
This is a woodland indicator species, and in Scotland it is found on acid, organic soils, mainly in pine, birch and oak woodland and moorland which has supported woodland in the past. The plant is a weak competitor, rarely reproducing by seed but forming extensive clonal populations interconnected by rhizomes during the growing season. The rhizomes and above-ground parts are deciduous, the plant forming overwintering tubers. The range of the plant is changing little in Scotland, but it has declined in northern England due to woodland clearance and moor burning. It is classified as an endangered plant in some areas.
- TAYLOR LK, HAVILL DC, PEARSON J, WOODALL J (2002) Trientalis europaea. Journal of Ecology 90, 404–418
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