Photo Credit
Photo courtesy of Photo courtesy U.S. National Park Service.

Henderson's shooting star

Scientific name
Dodecatheon hendersonii
Also Known As
Broadleaf shooting star
Plant Family
Plant Group
Purple or pink cyclamen-like flowers nod in clusters from the top of the stem. Four or five showy petals are swept backward, and the beak-like dark stamens and stigma shoot forward and downward.
Identification Hints

California buckeye can grow to be 12-40 feet tall. It has thin grey bark that is often covered with lichens. The leaves are dark green, palmately compound with 5 to 7 leaflets. Each leaflet is 2.4-6.7 inches long, with finely-toothed margins. The flowers are sweet-scented, white to pale pink, borne on erect panicles 6-8 inches long. Most of the flowers in each cluster are male and, thus, incapable of producing seeds; only two or three at the tip are fertile and will produce the actual buckeyes, which ripen in the fall. The fruit is a fig-shaped husk 2-3 inches long, containing a large, round, orange-brown seed.

Did You Know?

With bold, pink flowers, it may very well be the most striking of the prairie wildflowers.