Shootingstar (Dodecatheon pulchellum) is a species of flowering plant in the primrose family.
The Shooting star is a perennial herb with single, leafless flower stems, growing from very short erect root stocks with no bulblets to a height of 2-15 inches.
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 (mm) long. The corolla is 10 to 20 mm long and the 5 lobes sweep backwards. The lobes are purplish-lavender and rarely white. The short tube is yellowish and usually has 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 and the stigma is slightly larger than the style.
Flowering period is from April to August depending on the site type and elevation.
The Shootingstar is native to much of North America. See a distribution map at the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service plants profile database. It can be found in saline swamps, mountain meadows and streams, plains, and alpine zones. In Montana, it is most common in western and central areas.
According to Montana Plant Life.org it is used as a medicine plant. “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.”
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