Dodecatheon pulchellum

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Dodecatheon pulchellum
Dodecatheon pulchellum ssp pulchellum 2.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Primulaceae
Genus: Dodecatheon
Species: D. pulchellum
Binomial name
Dodecatheon pulchellum
(Raf.) Merr.

Dodecatheon pulchellum, commonly known as pretty shooting star, few-flowered shooting star, dark throat shooting star and prairie shooting star.

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


Dodecatheon pulchellum 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[edit]

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.

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