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Dodecatheon pulchellum

Dodecatheon pulchellum (*)

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Ordo: Ericales

Familia: Primulaceae
Subfamilia: Primuloideae
Genus: Dodecatheon
Species: Dodecatheon pulchellum

Dodecatheon pulchellum, the pretty shooting star, few-flowered shooting star, dark throat shooting star or prairie shooting star, is a species of flowering plant in the primula family Primulaceae.

The plant is native to the Western United States, often in xeric (extremely dry) and desert habitats. It is found in the Great Basin Deserts and Mojave Desert.

The Latin specific epithet pulchellum means “pretty”, “beautiful”.[1]


Dodecatheon pulchellum is a herbaceous perennial with single, leafless flower stems, growing from very short erect root stocks with no bulblets. It grows to a height of 5–40 cm (2.0–15.7 in).

Its leaves are basal, 2–15 cm long, blades oblong-lanceolate to oblanceolate, mostly entire to somewhat small-toothed, narrowed gradually to winged stalks nearly as long.

Each plant has between 1 and 25 flowers clustered at the stem top. The calyx is usually purple-flecked, and the five lobes are 3 to 5 millimeters long. The corolla is 10 to 20 millimeters long, the 5 lobes swept backwards, purplish-lavender, seldom white, the short tube yellowish, usually with a purplish wavy line at the base. The filaments are joined into a yellowish tube 1.5–3 mm long, which is smooth or only slightly wrinkled. The 5 anthers are joined to a projecting point, usually yellowish to reddish-purple, 4–7 mm long. The stigma is slightly larger than the style. This plant flowers between April and August.

The fruits are capsules, many-seeded, ovoid-cylindric, hairless to glandular-hairy, membranous to firm-walled, 5–15 mm long, opening from the tip into sharp teeth.

Dodecatheon pulchellum has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.[2][3] In cultivation it is hardy down to −15 °C (5 °F), but prefers a sheltered location in partial or full shade with neutral or acid soil, such as a woodland setting.[2]
Native Americans

Dodecatheon pulchellum, pretty shooting star, was used medicinally by the Okanagan-Colville and Blackfoot Indians. An infusion of the roots was used as a wash for sore eyes. A cooled infusion of leaves was used for eye drops. An infusion of leaves was gargled, especially by children, for cankers.

Harrison, Lorraine (2012). RHS Latin for Gardeners. United Kingdom: Mitchell Beazley. ISBN 978-1845337315.
"RHS Plantfinder - Dodecatheon pulchellum".
"AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 33. Retrieved 24 January 2018.

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