The fifteen native Dodecatheon species, better known as shooting stars, catch the eyes of hikers across North America.
Primarily a western genera, only two of the fifteen species ,ake their mark in the central and eastern portions of the continent. Their otherwise large ranges means they grow in a variety of habitats, including woodlands and meadows.
Establishing them in the garden can be difficult. While the internet provides ready access to seeds, the seed germination can be complex, including a six week cold storage of the seeds to simulate the seed's natural, winter dormant season. Select nurseries also provide seedlings.
Once established in a garden, shooting stars tend to grow consistently year to year. Slight differences in petal color often serve as visual aides for field identification.
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Types of Flowers
Poet's Shooting-Star (Dodecatheon poeticum), the species in the first picture, inhabits the slopes of the the Oregon and Washington sides of the Columbia River.
The red and yellow circles at the base of the lavender petals provides nice contrast in color.
Like many of the Western species, it blooms in early spring.
Picture two highlights the colorful recurved petals of a Henderson's Shooting Star (Dodecatheon hendersonii), also known as a Woodland Shooting Star.
Multiple flowers sprout from its single stem, and it thrives in a variety of western habitats from British Columbia to California.
Jeffrey's Shooting Star (Dodecatheon jeffreyi), also known as the Sierra Shooting Star, grow prolifically in wet, mountain meadows.
The picture highlights the flower's characteristic purple backward bending petals.
© 2008-2012 Patricia A. Michaels