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Few-flowered Shooting Stars

Betty  Town Duncan

Vale, United States

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Artist's Description

Few-flowered shooting stars add color to sagebrush grays. Photographed in the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon north of Unity and Hereford.

© Blue Mountain Blessings Photography by Betty E Duncan
Nikon Coolpix P510

Dodecatheon pulchellum, commonly known as pretty shooting star, few-flowered shooting star, dark throat shooting star and prairie shooting star, is a perennial herb with single, leafless flower stems, growing from very short erect root stocks with no bulblets. It grows to a height of 5 to 40 centimeters.

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.
Native Americans

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.
(Wikpedia)

Artwork Comments

  • lorilee
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