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Dodecatheon pulchellum

Dodecatheon pulchellum (Raf.) Merr.

 

Shooting Star, Darkthroat Shooting Star, Few-flower Shooting Star, Western Shooting Star

ParentsUnknownGenus is not in the current taxonomy
GenusDodecatheonFrom the Greek dodeka, “twelve,” and thios, “god(s).” One source implies that it was considered to be powerful medicine and under the care of the twelve leading gods, and another suggests that because the flowers sometimes appear in clusters of twelve, the Roman naturalist Pliny bestowed this name because he thought the flowers represented the twelve Olympian gods
SpeciespulchellumDerived from the Latin for “beautiful”

About plant names...

Shooting stars are native to the western United States, in desert habitats. They are found in saline swamps, damp grasslands, streambanks, and mountain meadows. Bees buzz-pollinate these flowers, vibrating wing muscles at a specific frequency to forcefully shake pollen from the anthers.

Plants: Perennials, 1¾-16" (5-40 cm) tall.

Leaves: A basal rosette of thick leaves, ¾-6" (2-15 cm) long, oblong-lanceolate to oblanceolate. Leaf edges are usually smooth, but may have small teeth.

Flowers: Groups of 1-25 flowers appear in a cluster at the top of the stem. The corolla—the whorl of 5 petals—is swept way back, completely covering the calyx and much of the stem, as if facing a strong wind. The corolla is ⅜-¾" (1-2 cm) long, and lavendar or magenta (rarely white). The petals fuse together into a ring about ¹/₁₆" (2 mm) wide at their base, yellow, usually with an uneven band of purple. Projecting forward from this is a yellow to reddish-purple tube, ⅛-¼" (4-7 mm) long. Flowers appear from April to August.

Fruits: Capsules, tan to light brown, sometimes speckled with red or maroon, ⅛-½" (5-14 mm) × ¹/₁₆-³/₁₆" (3-5 mm), thin-walled.

Online References:

Dodecatheon pulchellum on Wikipedia

Dodecatheon pulchellum on Turner Photographics' Wildflowers site

Dodecatheon pulchellum on Wildflowers, Ferns & Trees of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah

Dodecatheon pulchellum on eFloras

Dodecatheon pulchellum (Shooting Star, Darkthroat Shooting Star, Few-flower Shooting Star, Western Shooting Star)

5/15/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 7 × 9" (18 × 21 cm) ID is uncertain

Dodecatheon pulchellum (Shooting Star, Darkthroat Shooting Star, Few-flower Shooting Star, Western Shooting Star)

5/15/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 7 × 7" (18 × 18 cm)

Dodecatheon pulchellum description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 13 Jul 2017.

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Dodecatheon pulchellum (Shooting Star, Darkthroat Shooting Star, Few-flower Shooting Star, Western Shooting Star)

5/15/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 10 × 10" (26 × 26 cm) ID is uncertain

Dodecatheon pulchellum (Shooting Star, Darkthroat Shooting Star, Few-flower Shooting Star, Western Shooting Star)

5/15/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 10 × 12" (26 × 31 cm) ID is uncertain

Dodecatheon pulchellum (Shooting Star, Darkthroat Shooting Star, Few-flower Shooting Star, Western Shooting Star)

5/15/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 12 × 13" (29 × 33 cm) ID is uncertain

Dodecatheon pulchellum (Shooting Star, Darkthroat Shooting Star, Few-flower Shooting Star, Western Shooting Star)

5/15/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 5 × 6" (12 × 16 cm)

Range:

About this map...