Dodecatheon dentatum ssp. dentatum
A flower of white shooting star as seen along the McCord Creek Trail in the western Columbia River Gorge................May 20, 2009.
White shooting star is an attractive perennial which is fairly easy to grow in the moist, shady woodland garden. It is also fairly easy to identify due to the white flowers (other shooting stars may have white flowers, but not consistently so) and toothed leaf margins. The leaves are often thinner in cross-section than most other shooting stars.
The plants arise from short, thick, ascending rhizomes. The smooth-surfaced leaves have ovate to oblong or oblong-lanceolate blades from 3-10 cm long and 2-6 cm wide. The base of the blade is sharply rounded or heart-shaped, attached to a petiole equal to twice as long as the length of the blade. The stems are 15-40 cm long with 2-12 flowers. The flowers are white with five floral parts, the corolla averaging 12-20 mm in length. The tube at the base of the petals is yellowish, with a wavy reddish-purple ring. The filaments are free, less than 1 mm long, smooth, and deep reddish-purple. The connectives are smooth except for a lengthwise groove, and the anthers are 6-7 mm long.
White shooting star is fairly easy to grow in the moist woodland gardens found to the west of the Cascades. It spreads slowly via rhizomes, but could be easily overgrown by such vigorous plants as wood sorrel.
White shooting star may be found on moist, shaded slopes or cliffs near seeps, streams, or waterfalls.
White shooting star may be found along the eastern side of the Cascades from southern British Columbia south to northern Oregon, and east to central Idaho. It is not found in northeastern Oregon.
In the Columbia River Gorge, it may be found from the western end of the gorge to about Dog Mt, and is found between the elevations of 100'-2000'.