Dodecatheon meadia L.
Eastern Shooting Star, Shooting Star, Pride Of Ohio, Roosterheads, Prairie Pointers
Primulaceae (Primrose Family)
USDA Symbol: DOME
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
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 20 inches tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun
DistributionUSA: 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 ConditionsWater 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
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Bumble Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
PropagationDescription: 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
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording 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
BibliographyBibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 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 resourcesUSDA: Find Dodecatheon meadia in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Dodecatheon meadia in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Dodecatheon meadia
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-02-07
Research By: TWC Staff