Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium
University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point

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Plants of Wisconsin

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Featured Plant: Dodecatheon meadia L. subsp. meadia

Eastern shooting-star, pride-of-Ohio

Family: Primulaceae or Primrose

Dodecatheon: Greek for "twelve gods". Pliny used this name for Primrose which was cared for by twelve gods. later the name was transferred to this species.

Meadia: in honor of an early English physician and botanist, Dr. Richard Mead.

Found in mesic to dry prairies and rocky to dry open woodlands mostly in southern part of state  Flowers late April through mid June.

The basal rosettes of the oblong to lance-shaped smooth leaves sometimes tinged with red at the base and mid-rib can be seen early in the spring. The white to lavender or lilac flowers are distinguished by 5 upward pointing lobes above a cone-shaped center of stamens. The flowers are arranged in a loose nodding umbel on a 6 to 20 inch leafless stalk. The flowers are pollinated by bumblebees. The fruiting capsules are held erect and mature in late summer to early fall when they open to hold multiple seeds. The fruiting stalk sometimes persists through winter

Ethnobotany: There does not seem to be any use of this plant other than to enjoy its beauty.

Propagation: Gathering the seeds in the fall is simply a matter of turning the seeds capsules upside down and shaking them into your hand. The plants are slow to germinate and might not be seen for up to 6 yeras after sowing. Mature plants can be divided successfully but care should always be taken when removing a plant from the wild.

Blooming Buddies include: yellow - lousewort (Pedicularis canadensis subsp. canadensis), white - Robin's-plantain (Erigeron pulchellus var. pulchellus), several violets (Viola spp.), pink- wild geranium (Geranium maculatum) and yellow star-grass (Hypoxis hirsuta).

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Vascular Plants

Plants of Wisconsin

Herbarium

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