Long-stalked Starwort
Stellaria longipes Goldie
Family: Caryophyllaceae, Pink
Genus: Stellaria
Synonyms:
Other names: longstalk stitchwort
Nomenclature: longipes = long stalked
Nativity / Invasiveness: Montana native plant
Edible plant
No medicinal data
Description

General: 5-30 cm tall. Growth habit: low perennial from slender, branched rhizomes, in small tufts or mats. Stems: slender, 4-angled, hairless.

Leaves: opposite, stalkless, 1-3 cm long and 1-3 mm broad, rigid and stiff, often tinged bluish-gray, linear to linear-lance-shaped, pointed, sometimes edged with hairs at the base, otherwise hairless, the edges smooth.

Flowers: white, mostly several in open clusters. Stalks slender, erect, up to 8 cm long, with membranous bracts. Sepals lance-shaped, mostly pointed, about 4 mm long, with membranous edges, hairless or rarely edged with minute hairs, 3-nerved. Petals 5, deeply 2-lobed, cut almost to base, mostly slightly longer than sepals. Late May-August.

Fruits: shiny capsules, usually dark purplish green, somewhat longer than the calyx, opening by 6 teeth at tip. Seeds about 0.8 mm long, lightly net-veined.


Distribution

Moist soil, streambanks, rocky slopes, and mountain meadowland, foothills to alpine zone, in s. and w. parts of MT. Also from AK to Newfoundland, s. to CA, AZ, NM, MN, and NY, and in Eurasia.
Edible Uses

All starworts are good sources of vitamin C and minerals. Their young leaves and stems make an excellent salad green, potherb or cooked vegetable, similar to spinach. Plants with hairy stems are probably best cooked. Chopped starwort can also be used to make a flavorful creamed soup or puree, and it has even been added to pancakes. Dried plants make a refreshing tea.


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