Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Dodecatheon pulchellum

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to Mexico, east to the Great Plains.

Habitat: Coastal prairies to inland saline swamps and shrub-steppe, sea level to timberline

Flowers: April-July

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Scapose, perennial herbs from short rhizomes, glabrous to glandular-pubescent throughout, the flowering stems 5-40 cm. tall.


Leaves basal, the blades oblong-lanceolate to oblanceolate, 2-15 cm. long, entire to denticulate, narrowed gradually to winged petioles nearly as long.


Flowers 1-25 in an umbel, terminal on the scape, 5-parted; calyx purple-flecked, the lobes 3-5 mm. long; corolla 10-20 mm. long, the lobes purplish-lavender, the tube yellowish with a purple line at the base; stamens clustered around the style, opposite the petals, the filaments united in a yellow, orange or purple tube 1.5-3 mm. long; anthers yellowish to reddish-purple, 4-7 mm. long; style single, barely exceeding the stamens, the stigma slightly enlarged


Capsule ovoid-cylindric, 5-15 mm. long, glabrous to glandular hairy, opening by valves to the tip.

Accepted Name:
Dodecatheon pulchellum (Raf.) Merr.
Publication: J. Arnold Arbor. 29: 212. 1948. 1948.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Exinia pulchella Raf.
Primula pauciflora (Greene) A.R. Mast & Reveal
var. cusickii – Cusick's shooting star, sticky shooting star    Occurring east of the Cascades crest in Washington; southern British Columbia to northeastern Oregon, east to Montana and Wyoming.
var. macrocarpum – Alaskan shooting star    Occurring west of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to California.
var. pulchellum – dark-throated shooting star    Occurring chiefly east of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to California, east to the Great Plains.
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Dodecatheon pulchellum in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Dodecatheon pulchellum checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Dodecatheon pulchellum atlas page.

CalPhotos: Dodecatheon pulchellum photos.

USDA Plants: Dodecatheon pulchellum information.

116 photographs:
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