Queen’s Cup

Clintonia uniflora

Queen's Cup

APPEARANCE

Large lance shaped basal leaves (leaves close to the ground) surround the skinny stalk which holds the small one inch star shaped white flower.

RANGE & HABITAT

These flowers like the shaded habitat of the forest floor the most, but are also seen along rivers and streams which are thick with brush. Their northern limit is the Yukon and can be seen as far south as California. Their boundary to the east are the Cascade Mountains in Washington.

LIFE CYCLE

The Queen’s cup beautiful star shaped white flowers appear during late May to July. After the blooming period a single blue berry appears on top of the slender stalk which are poisonous to humans

ANIMAL USES

Ruffed grouse love to munch on the berries of this plant when they are ripe in the fall. However, the blue berries should not be eaten because they are considered poisonous to humans.

TRADITIONAL FIRST NATIONS USES

The blue berries were crushed and used by the Lower Nlaka’pmx as a blue dye. The leaves were used by the Lil’wet’ul for eye infections and the Okanagan to stop bleeding.

MODERN USES

This small beautiful flower is often seen in many gardens and botanical gardens.

STATUS

COSEWIC: Not at Risk
CDC: Yellow

MORE INFORMATION

www.naturewatch.ca

Photo: Brent Miller