IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

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This is probably the smallest terrestrial flowering plant in Illinois (Lemma minor, or Lesser Pondweed, is even smaller, but it floats on water). To see the flowers and fruits near the axils of the leaves, a 10x hand lens is required. Terrestrial Starwort resembles a low-growing moss, but it is more leafy in appearance. Other species in this genus are submerged or emergent aquatic plants; these Callitriche spp. are referred to as Water Starworts, and they are small in size as well. The submerged leaves of these latter species are linear in shape, but their emergent leaves resemble those of Terrestrial Starwort. While the fruits of Terrestrial Starwort have short peduncles, the fruits of Water Starworts are sessile, or nearly so.

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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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