Page author: David Giblin
Stellaria nitens
shiny starwort

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to Baja California, east to Montana, Idaho, Utah, and Arizona.

Habitat: Gravelly prairies and stream banks to grassy hillsides at low elevations.

Flowers: April-June

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Annual

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Bees, flies


Usually glabrous, delicate, erect annual, the filiform stem up to 2 dm. tall, simple or branched below.


Leaves opposite, only on the lower half of the stem, linear or linear lanceolate, 5-10 mm. long; basal leaves with a small ovate blade 3-8 mm. long and a petiole at least as long.


Flowers in a large, open inflorescence with membranous bracts and filiform pedicels; sepals 5, 3-4 mm. long, lanceolate, pointed, 3-nerved, with transparent margins; petals wanting or very small.


Capsule narrowly cylindric-ovoid, shorter than the sepals.

Accepted Name:
Stellaria nitens Nutt.
Publication: Fl. N. Amer. 1: 185. 1838.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Stellaria praecox A. Nelson
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Stellaria nitens in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Stellaria nitens checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Stellaria nitens information.

E-Flora BC: Stellaria nitens atlas page.

CalPhotos: Stellaria nitens photos.

USDA Plants: Stellaria nitens information.

23 photographs:
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