Henderson's shooting star from along the Illinois River in the Siskiyou Mts of southwestern Oregon.........March 25, 1997. Note the wide, reddish-purple ring at the very base of the corolla tube.
Henderson's shooting star is an attractive perennial which should be fairly easy to grow in the woodland garden. The erect stem rises 7.5-20 cm from a basal rosette of wide oval leaves from 3-14 cm long and often nearly as wide. The herbage of leaves and stems is usually smooth-surfaced. The leaf blades range from ovate to spatulate or deltoid-elliptic and have entire margins.
The 2-15 flowers usually have 5 floral parts, but on occasion may have 4 on the same plant. The calyx is usually finely purple-flecked. The corolla is 15-25 mm long with deep magenta to light orchid petals. The tube at the base of the petals is white or yellow-ringed with a deep reddish-purple ring at the very base. The filaments are united to form a tube 2-4 mm long which is a deep reddish-purple. The anther connectives are smooth or transversely wrinkled. The deep red to purple anthers are 4-6 mm long.
Henderson's shooting star is found in meadows or prairies and open forests along streams or on wet ground.
Henderson's shooting star may be found from Vancouver Island south along the western side of the Cascades to southern Oregon. It may be found in the San Juan Islands, along coastal Washington and Oregon, and to the south may be found in the Coast Range and Sierra Nevada to southern California.
In the Columbia River Gorge, it may be found at about 100' in elevation along Washington Highway 14 near milepost 62 as well as along the Wygant and Perham Creek Trails.