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

Least common flower color
June 14, 2008 - What is the least common flower color in the world?
view the full question and answer

Purple leatherflower with white bloom
July 17, 2014 - A couple of years ago at the wildflower center native plant sale I bought a purple leatherflower according to the tag. This is the first year it has bloomed and the blooms are pure white. The shape ma...
view the full question and answer

Comments on article in Austin paper
January 22, 2012 - Why can't we comment on your piece in the Statesman? It says no comments possible at the bottom.
view the full question and answer

Bird nest fungus in Central Austin, TX.
August 21, 2012 - Hi, I live in Central Austin and have different types of ground cover (such as silver pony foot)in my garden and have noticed huge patches of bird's nest fungi in between and under. Every time it ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on forbs
October 16, 2005 - What kind of plant is a forb? I see the term used frequently in reference to grasses (I think), but I can't figure out exactly what a forb is.
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