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Dodecatheon meadia

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Kemper Code:  K160

Common Name: shooting star
Zone: 4 to 8
Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Primulaceae
Missouri Native: Yes
Native Range: Eastern and central United States
Height: 0.75 to 1.5 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1 foot
Bloom Time: May   Bloom Data
Bloom Color: White, pink, purple
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium


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Plant Culture and Characteristics

Sources for this plant

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  Uses:       Wildlife:   Flowers:   Leaves:   Fruit:
Hedge Suitable as annual Attracts birds Has showy flowers Leaves colorful Has showy fruit
Shade tree Culinary herb Attracts Has fragrant flowers Leaves fragrant Fruit edible
Street tree Vegetable   hummingbirds Flowers not showy Good fall color   Other:
Flowering tree Water garden plant Attracts Good cut flower Evergreen Winter interest
Gr. cover (<1') Will naturalize   butterflies Good dried flower     Thorns or spines

General Culture:

Grow in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in part shade to full shade. Prefers moist, humusy soils in part shade. Avoid poorly-drained, wet soils, particularly in winter. Slow and difficult to grow from seed.

Noteworthy Characteristics:

This species of shooting star is a much beloved, native Missouri wildflower that is indigenous to much of the eastern United States and typically occurs in open woods and glades, rocky wooded slopes, bluff ledges, meadows and prairies. From each basal rosette of lance-shaped leaves come 1-4 sturdy, leafless, center flower scapes rising to 20" tall. Atop each flower scape is an umbel containing 8-20, nodding, 1" long flowers. Each flower has five swept-back (reflexed) petals and a cluster of yellow stamens converging to a point, thus giving the flower the appearance of a shooting star plummeting to earth. Flower colors are quite variable, ranging from white to pink to light purple. Blooms in late spring.

Problems:

No serious insect or disease problems. Foliage disappears and plant goes dormant in summer.

Uses:

Best grown in shady areas in a native plant or wildflower garden, woodland garden, rock garden or naturalized area.

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2001-2011