En EspaÑol

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

Fragrant Texas wildflowers
April 10, 2013 - Hello! I am researching native Texas wildflowers and I am looking specifically for flowers with a pleasing aroma. Is there anyone who has made a list that includes how the flowers smell? Do you kno...
view the full question and answer

Which plants grow well together
April 17, 2009 - Please tell me what plants grow best together and which plants do not grow very good together
view the full question and answer

Identification of first flower on Earth
June 14, 2007 - When was the first on Earth and who find it and what was the name of the flower. Also what part of the Earth was if find?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on aceae
March 21, 2005 - How is the family suffix "-aceae", as in Asteraceae, pronounced? I find disagreeing claims in my searches- "ay-see-ee" and "ay-see-ay" seem to be the most common, but I've also seen just "ay-...
view the full question and answer

Black Walnut tree in LA
March 12, 2012 - I was just given a black walnut tree and am trying to determine where to place it. I’ve read on your site that “Certain plants will not grow under Black Walnut trees because of the juglones that 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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center