Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Shooting Star

Dodecatheon is another genus of wildflower that depends on bee pollination. The bees hold on to the petals and gather pollen by shaking the flowers by buzzing their wings (Wikipedia). What appear to be backward-facing petals on these flowers are actually sepals.

This photo is of one of 14 species in the genus, which is found in North America and northeastern Siberia. This species is Dodecatheon puchellum, often called Pretty Shooting Star or Dark-throated Shooting Star. The species is found across most of western North America, probably south into Mexico. This photo was taken in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Plants are found in dry soil and need at least three years to bloom. Plants can be propagated by division in winter. Some Native American tribes used Shooting Stars medicinally—as an eye wash, and a throat gargle.

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