Saline ShootingstarDodecatheon pulchellum (Raf.) Merr.
Very few species of bees can pollinate the Saline Shootingstar, a plant found on saline (salty) grasslands. Visiting bees do not feed on nectar. Instead, they vibrate their wings to a specific frequency causing pores on the anthers to open, and the pollen inside to come loose and spill over the bees. This process is called buzz pollination.
Canadian Rarity Status:
Not rare. Listed as “may be at risk” in Yukon and “sensitive” in the Northwest Territories.
This perennial grows 5-40 cm tall. Its spoon-shaped leaves have stalks and smooth to faintly toothed edges, occurring in a basal clump. The nectarless flowers are arranged in a nodding cluster of 1-25, on top of a leafless stem. Each one has five pink petals, bent backwards and joined at the base in a yellow band. The five joined stamens stick out as a pointed, yellow and reddish-purple tube. The cylinder to egg-shaped fruits split open to release their many seeds.
Mountain Shootingstar (Dodecatheon conjugens Greene)
Seeds and/or plants are often available from greenhouses and seed supply companies specializing in native plants. Saline Shootingstar grows easily from seed.
- British Columbia
- Northwest Territories
- Fescue Prairie
- Mixed Grass Prairie
- Tall Grass Prairie
- Salt Flats
- Full Sun
- Part Shade