Dodecatheon media, a shooting star, is a very popular native North American wildflower, commonly found in open woods, prairies, meadows, rocky wooded slopes, and bluff ledges. The shooting star joins other forest wildflowers like trillium and bluebells to ring out in spring.
Shooting Star sends out a large, leafless panicle that reveals pink to white star-shaped flowers with curved petals. The spectacular flower stalk and a dangling cluster of flowers make the shooting star a star of the spring forest garden.
The shooting star is a plant species in the Primulaceae (Primrose) family. There are more than 17 species in the Dodecatheon genus.
From each basal rosette of lanceolate leaves emerge 1 to 4 robust, leafless, medium-sized petals that can grow up to 20″ tall. On each petal, there is an umbel with 8 to 20 drooping flowers (up to 1″ long).
Each flower has 5 reflexed (swept-back) petals and a collection of yellow stamens that converge at one point, giving the flowers the appearance of a shooting star falling to the ground.
The colors of the flowers are quite variable, ranging from white to pink through light purple.