[Shooting Stars: The Genus Dodecatheon East of the
Cascade Mts. of Oregon and Washington]
Alpine Shootingstar, Alpine Shooting Star
Synonyms: Dodecatheon alpinum ssp. alpinum, Dodecatheon alpinum ssp. majus
Alpine shooting stars as seen from a seep along the South Loop Road about one mile downhill from the East Rim Viewpoint, Steens Mountain, Harney County, Oregon.........August 31, 2011.
Alpine shooting star is an attractive perennial which should
be fairly easy to identify due to the corolla with 4 petals and the "pinhead"
stigma at the tip of the style. The erect stem rises 5-40 cm from a basal rosette
of linear-lanceolate leaves with blunt or rounded tips from 3-10 cm long and
3-15 mm wide. The leaves taper to winged petioles and the margins are entire
to wavy. The herbage of the leaves and stems is usually smooth-surfaced although
there could be some glandular-pubescence in the inflorescence.
The 1-9 flowers have 4 floral parts. The calyx is smooth-surfaced
with fine purple flecks, the sepals being narrowly lanceolate and 4-7 mm long.
The corolla is 10-18 mm long with purple petals reflexed sharply backwards..
The tube at the base of the petals is yellow-ringed with a thin, reddish-purple
ring at the very base. The filaments are no longer than 1 mm and are either
entirely free or united to form a tube of purple anthers. The anther connectives
are cross-rugose, deep purple in color. The purple anthers are 5-8 mm long while
the stigma is distinctively enlarged at the tip.
Alpine shooting star may be found in wet mountain meadows or
along streams within its range.
Alpine shooting star may be found from the Wallowa Mts. of northeastern
Oregon southwest to the Cascades of south-central Oregon and south through the
Sierra Nevada to southern California. It may be found to the east in Arizona
Close-ups of the leaves and flowers of alpine shooting stars as seen from a seep along the South Loop Road about one mile downhill from the East Rim Viewpoint, Steens Mountain, Harney County, Oregon........August 31, 2011. Note that the tip of the stigma is rounded and wider than the style. The leaves of this species are greener and narrower than those of the similar desert shooting stars
Alpine shooting star as
seen from a seep along the South Loop Road about one mile downhill from the East Rim Viewpoint, Steens Mountain, Harney County, Oregon........September 2, 2011.
Alpine shooting star as seen along the shoreline of Wildhorse Lake, Steens Mountain, Harney County, Oregon........July 10, 2014.
Basal leaf rosettes of alpine shooting star as seen in riparian grasses along a small creek along the South Loop Road about one mile west of the East Rim Viewpoint, Steens Mountain............September 20, 2015.
Alpine shooting star as seen at left along the eastern shoreline of Maxwell Lake, Eagle Cap Wilderness...........August 3, 2016. The photos at center and at right show alpine shooting stars blooming in a wet area along Forest Road 4011 several hundred yards below the trailhead for the Crane Mountain Trail, Fremont-Winema National Forest......June 30, 2019.
Alpine shooting stars in bloom along the Deadman Canyon Trail #1869 near the east outlet to Sugarloaf Reservoir, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.......July 18, 2019.
Alpine shooting stars in bloom along the Hanan Trail #142, Fremont-Winema National Forest......June 17, 2020.