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Dodecatheon meadia (Eastern shooting star)
Smith, R.W.

Dodecatheon meadia

Dodecatheon meadia L.

Eastern Shooting Star, Shooting Star, Pride Of Ohio, Roosterheads, Prairie Pointers

Primulaceae (Primrose Family)



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

The leafless flower stalk arises 6-20 in. from bright-green basal leaves. Nodding flowers with strongly-backward pointing petals are in flat-topped clusters. At the top, the stalk divides into arching branches, each terminating in a flower. Petals of the white to deep pink flowers diverge upward to form a star-like pattern.

This flower is often cultivated. Bees, the chief pollinators, must extract pollen from the narrow tube formed by the united stamens and ensconcing the pistil. They do this by vibrating their bodies against the tube, shaking the pollen out. This plant was far more abundant during the days of the prairie settlers, who called it "Prairie Pointers." Amethyst Shootingstar (D. amethystinum), with reddish-purple flowers and usually green leaf bases, occurs along bluffs on such rivers as the Mississippi, Susquehanna, and Ohio.


From the Image Gallery

34 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 20 inches tall.
Leaf: Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun


USA: AL , AR , DC , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MD , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NY , OH , OK , PA , SC , TN , TX , VA , WI , WV
Native Distribution: W. PA to WI, s. to GA, e. TX & s.e. KS
Native Habitat: Moist, open woods; rocky slopes; dry to wet prairies

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Mesic to dry, rocky or sandy soils.
Conditions Comments: Grows best in light sandy soils


Conspicuous Flowers: yes

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: Best propagated by division. Dig mature crowns in the fall, when dormant, then divide and replant. Very fine seed germinates, but seedlings grow very slowly. Sow immediately or stratify over winter.
Seed Collection: Collect in July.
Seed Treatment: Moist or dry stratification, or fresh seed
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

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.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2023-02-07
Research By: TWC Staff

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