Flower of five-stamened mitrewort. Note that the whitish-tipped stamens are lined up next to or opposite the "frayed" petals, a diagnostic characteristic for this species when in bloom. Photographed at the Rainy Lake Trailhead, southern boundary to the Mark Hatfield Wilderness (Mt. Hood N.F.)...........July 24, 2001.
Alpine mitrewort is a perennial with several leafless stems arising from 15-35 cm above several basal leaves. The stems are either entirely bare or may have 1-2 bracts or very reduced leaves. The herbage ranges from entirely smooth to glandular-hairy. The leaf blades are ovate heart-shaped with 5-9 very shallow and indistinct lobes. The leaf petioles are up to twice as long as the leaf blades, which are 2-5 cm wide.
The inflorescence is a raceme of 6-25 flowers (The flowers may occasionally be found as a panicle.). The calyx is a wide saucer from 3-4 mm wide. The calyx lobes are triangular and either spreading or recurved. The green petals are 2-3 mm long and linear with 8 (4-10) fringed lobes spreading to each side of the petal. The 5 stamens are opposite the petals which is different from most of the other northwest mitreworts, which have the stamens opposite the calyx lobes.
Five-stamened mitrewort may be found in moist mountain meadows and in most woods, especially near streams, springs, and bogs.
Five-stamened mitrewort may be found from Alaska south along the coast to northern California and then into the Sierra Nevada. To the east, it may be found to Alberta and south in the Rocky Mts. to Colorado. It may also be found in the Wallowa Mts. of northeastern Oregon.
In the Columbia River Gorge, it may be found between the elevations 3100'-4000' from west of Larch Mt. in the west to near Mt. Defiance in the east.