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Stellaria irrigua

Stellaria irrigua

Stellaria irrigua (Colorado Starwort)
Caryophyllaceae.  (Pink Family)

Subalpine, alpine. Scree. Summer.
Stony Pass, July 17, 2010.

This tiny alpine plant is, according to Weber, "locally common on screes at high altitudes", but overall it is listed as rare in the very few Colorado and New Mexico counties in which it is found. The only other occurrences of this plant are in the Altai Mountains of Siberia, where it was first discovered and where it is also rare.  The Flora of North America states, "Stellaria irrigua has a remarkable and perhaps uniquely disjunct distribution".

Stellaria irrigua is unusual also, as the photographs show, in its floral structure.  The white petals are cut deeply and they and the stamens are laid back against the colorful bracts.  Leaves and bracts are green and maroon. 

The plant is minute and difficult to find on scree slopes.

Bunge named this plant in 1835 from Siberian specimens.

 

Stellaria irrigua

Stellaria irrigua

Stellaria irrigua (Colorado Starwort)
Caryophyllaceae.  (Pink Family)

Subalpine, alpine. Scree. Summer.
Clear Lake near Silverton, July 20, 2010.

 

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Stellaria irrigua

Range map for Stellaria irrigua