En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
3 ratings

Thursday - February 25, 2010

From: Amherst, MA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: General Botany
Title: Flower color in shooting stars (Dodecatheon meadia)
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Shooting Stars (Dodecatheon meadia) come in the colors white, lavender and purple in the eastern U.S. Is this just genetic variability or does soil chemistry affect the flower color?

ANSWER:

All the information that I can find indicates that the flower colors of Dodecatheon meadia (Eastern shootingstar) are genetically determined. 

You can read a discussion and comparison of the flower colors of D. meadia and the closely related Dodecatheon amethystinum (jeweled shootingstar) in "The Jeweled Shooting Star (Dodecatheon amethystinum) in Illinois"  by John E. Schwegman, Castanea, Vol. 49, No. 2 (Jun., 1984), pp. 74-82.  You should be able to access this article through the University of Massachusetts, Amherst or Amherst College libraries.

For a full botanical description of  D. meadia and other species of Dodecatheon, please see the Revision of Dodecatheon (Primulaceae) from the New York Botanical Garden.


 

From the Image Gallery


Eastern shooting star
Dodecatheon meadia

Eastern shooting star
Dodecatheon meadia

Amethyst shootingstar
Dodecatheon amethystinum

More General Botany Questions

Smog-eating plants from Ft. Worth TX
September 30, 2012 - Looking for a list (40 >) of Native Texas Plants for Fort Worth Urban (Condo) that are Drought tolerant or (drip irr) and Fragrant and long blooming and eat up the city smog. Fort Worth is in a non-at...
view the full question and answer

Increase in plant cell size when nuclei take on water
March 07, 2008 - Do plant cells increase in size when vacuoles or nuclei take on water?
view the full question and answer

Differences in Plant Growth
November 28, 2010 - How do plants grow differently?
view the full question and answer

Differences in prostrate Mimosa species
May 27, 2013 - There are apparently a lot of little pink puffy-flowered prostrate plants with thorny stems and sensitive leaves: Mimosa microphylla, Mimosa roemeriana, Mimosa strigillosa. How does one tell them apar...
view the full question and answer

Seaweed seed dispensers in Long Island, NY
January 03, 2013 - Several months ago, we found what are probably seaweed seed dispensers. They are dark brown, hard, four sharp points,section where it would have connected to the main plant and an open hole where the...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center