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

Century plant dying after bloom
August 12, 2007 - My century plant is so tall that it is up to the top of the telephone pole top lines that carry our streets electric. I was wanting to know if you knew if I cut the stock off would it save the plant ...
view the full question and answer

How are full sun, part sun, etc, defined?
April 08, 2014 - Hello, I have a question about sun requirements. Does saying something needs "full sun" mean a particular number of hours? Does it mean 6 or more hours / day? 8 or more? Is there an agreed upon n...
view the full question and answer

Can Condalia hookeri (Brasil or Bluewood condalia) self-pollinate?
May 07, 2014 - Good morning Mr. SP, I see from your description of Condalia hookeri that this species has bisexual flowers. Do you know if it is self-incompatible?
view the full question and answer

Help with Science Fair project from Danbury CT
January 12, 2012 - Hello Mr Smarty, I was going to do my science project on weevils and their impact on milfoil. The weevils are in hibernation until spring and my project is due in mid-Feb. Any suggestions on a simil...
view the full question and answer

Water-saving strategies of drought-tolerant plants
April 04, 2014 - Although "drought tolerant" plants are fairly well documented, it's clear that many different strategies are responsible, such as a huge root system (like Mesquite). I'm interested in learning 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