Shooting star is a marvelous spring plant. The first little buds are breaking through the soil in late March. The basal rosette of leaves will form in April and the flowers will bloom the end of April into May. They are a spectacular sight. Unusual flowers shaped like little rockets.
The flowers can be either white or light pink. There is also a separate species Dodecatheon amethystinum which has rose flowers. The flowers do not last long, three weeks or so depending on the weather. In a cooler year with moist soil they will last longer. The plants grows and produces its seed and goes dormant by the end of June. Shooting Star is such a neat plant it deserves to be in the native plant garden. You can plant it with bloodroot. Then when it is dormant you will have the bloodroot leaves. Lady fern, Jack in-the-pulpit, foam flower and wild ginger make good companions.
The flowers are visited by bees who do most of the pollination. The plants produce lots of seed which can be planted to produce new plants. Seed can be sown on the surface of the seed starting mix. Use a clear container with about an inch of seed starting mix. Leave the container outside most of the winter. Bring it in the end of February or let it germinate naturally in the spring. I fertilize the plants the first year and transplant them into individual containers the 2nd year.
Shooting star is not really particular about soil conditions. It needs to be in moist soil in the spring. Planted under deciduous trees gives it plenty of sun in the spring. In a moist soil you can plant in full sun.
Dodecatheon meadia - Shooting star
-Has unusual flowers
-Grows in partial shade to full sun
-Early spring flower, goes dormant in the summer
-White to pink flowers
-Height: 8 to 12 inches
-Zone: 4 to 9