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Dodecatheon dentatum

Dodecatheon dentatum Hook.

Dwarf Shootingstar, White Shootingstar

Primulaceae (Primrose Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

A delicate, dwarf shooting stars, the flowering stem rising only 6 in. above the rosette of crinkled, toothed, basal leaves. Open umbels of white flowers top the flowering stem. Small, dart-like flowers pointing in all directions from ends of branches of an umbel on a stalk growing from a basal rosette of leaves. The petals are abruptly reflexed back over the short floral tube to resemble a jet-propelled missle with a nose-cone of showy, yellow stamens. In addition, there is a showy, reddish-purple spot at the base of each petal.

This species has toothed (dentate) leaves, hence one of its common names. It is the only shooting star to have populations with consistently white flowers. In Utah, petals may be pink or pale violet; elsewhere petals are white or cream. Plants in Arizona and New Mexico have stamens with yellow filaments; in the Northwest filaments are dark maroon or black.


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Class: 0-1 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul


USA: AZ , ID , NM , OR , UT , WA
Native Distribution: E. side of the Cascades from s. B.C. to n. OR, e. to c. ID & n. UT
Native Habitat: Stream banks; shaded, moist slopes

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Moist soils.
Conditions Comments: Shooting stars go dormant almost immediately after flowering.

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Bumble Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Description: Propagate by division or seed.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Dodecatheon dentatum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Dodecatheon dentatum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Dodecatheon dentatum


Record Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff

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