Midland Shooting Star

Midland Shootingstar (Dodecatheon meadia), one of about a dozen or two shootingstar varieties, a type of primrose, is a popular wildflower found throughout the eastern US, including most Illinois counties, and a really cool perennial. The first year I planted them they didn't do much. The next year they put out big, floppy-eared lettuce-type leaves, out of which suddenly shoot up stalks of up to 18", from which hang little, delicate, tubular clumps of flowers.


The ground plant and the top flower are hard to get all in one picture so I show two plants here; note, the big leafy things up top are not shootingstar, but May apples butting into the picture.


The flowers, after getting pollinated, drop their petals, then eventually their seed cases, and the leafy ground plants remain for a while. They make a nice contrast to the May apples. However they don't play defense very well and are susceptible to getting crowded out by more aggressiv plants.


This neat addition to a garden likes partial sun but can take a little more or less than that. It does well on slopes and has thrived in a difficult terrace area of mine that tends to get hit hard by freeze.