Synonyms: Dodecatheon alpinum ssp. alpinum, Dodecatheon alpinum ssp. majus
Alpine shooting stars as seen on the moist banks of Killen Creek near its headwaters on the north side of Mt. Adams...............August 29, 2012.
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 and Utah.
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.