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Dodecatheon pulchellum (photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens)
Dodecatheon pulchellum (photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens)

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Zone
Zones vary by species.
Full SunPartial Sun
Full, Partial
Regular Water
Moderate

Dodecatheon

Shooting Star
Primulaceae
Perennials, Flowers

Mostly native to the West, these perennials form basal rosettes of pale green leaves in spring, which later dry up in summer heat. The spring flowers are somewhat like small cyclamen blooms. Few to many form in clusters on leafless stems ranging from a few inches to 2 ft. high. Rarely available in nurseries, but you can buy seeds for types native to your area (not all are hardy everywhere) from specialists in native plant seeds. Give porous, rich, well-drained soil. Let soil dry out after bloom.

There are many species with flower colors ranging from white to pink, lavender to magenta. Western D. hendersonii (Zones 7–9, 14–24), for example, bears blossoms in white, pink shades, or magenta, carried 3 to 15 on each 1 1/2-ft. stalk. Plant forms a clump just under a foot wide.

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