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Friday, January 28, 2011

Shooting Stars

Dodecatheon poeticum
A pollinator's view

Dodecatheons or Shooting Stars are a lovely group of spring flowering perennials that belong to the Primula family.  This genus is found throughout North America from Mexico to the Arctic region where plants are generally found in seasonally moist mountains meadows and grasslands.  The botanical name Dodecatheon refers to the 12 gods who were thought to protect Primulas in ancient times.  The common name, Shooting Star, describes their distinctive reflexed petals and pointed styles.
Dodecatheon 'Spring Dawn'
‘Spring Dawn’ Shooting Star is our seed grown selection with abundant pale pink flowers to 12” above a cluster of mid-green leaves.  It flowers for many weeks in spring before going dormant in summer. 

Dodecatheon pulchellum

Dodecatheon jeffreyi
Shooting Stars should be kept moist while in active growth and most species tolerate drier conditions in dormancy.  They are best grown in cool sun to light shade and are at home in a woodland, alpine or rock garden where plants increase over time. Although they are not heat lovers, Dodecatheons are quite cold hardy to -20 degrees or more.

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