Saturday, January 19, 2008

Woodland Shooting Star

Dodecatheon hendersonii

Dodecatheon hendersonii is a species of Dodecatheon native to western North America, from California north to southern British Columbia and Idaho. In California, it occurs in the northwest (except the north coast), the Cascade Range, the Sierra Nevada foothills, the Central Valley, the San Francisco Bay Area, the north Inner South Coast Ranges, and the San Bernardino Mountains. It is generally found in open woodlands, from sea level in British Columbia, up to 1900 m altitude in California. Common names include Broad-leaved Shootingstar, Henderson's Shootingstar, "mosquito bills", and "sailor caps".

D. hendersonii is summer deciduous, dying back to the ground after the rains cease. It has basal clumps of leaves, 2-16 cm, with nodding flowers 6-25 mm long on stems 10-30 cm tall. The flowers are magenta to deep lavender to white, with the stamens are thrust out and the sepals bent back. It is highly variable and hybridizes with Dodecatheon clevelandii, from which it can be distinguished by its reddish or purplish stem.

The leaves and roots can be eaten when roasted or boiled, but are reported to be poisonous when eaten raw.

It needs good drainage, and needs a dry summer period. Plants germinated from seed may take 3-5 years to produce flowers. For some Dodecatheon, with frequent light fertilization and moisture, dormancy may be delayed, and flowering time may be decreased to 1-2 years. Another technique to speed flowering is to place them in a cooler after dormancy, then bring them to a shadehouse in midsummer.

It can be grown by division in winter. It prefers shade when inland.

Information source: Wikipedia


  1. It looks lie a type of orchid. Pretty!

  2. Beautiful photos in so many posts! I came here from Wildflowers in Winter. I'm going to have to see just where it is you gals live. I didn't make note of that before, but I can tell it ain't Kansas;o)

  3. We have these in our area in the spring too! Love them and anything purple/lavender is my "favorite".

    Love your blog,
    Barb-Harmony Art Mom

  4. it does remind me a bit of a lady slipper (grew in the seattle area where I lived as a child)

  5. That really is a beautiful wildflower. You and Lana G! have inspired me to play along with this wildflower theme. I love all the coming up themes too. So much bloggy fun! Blessings...

  6. Thank you for showing these lovely wildflowers that grow in California and sharing the information too.


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