About Western Shooting Star: Seventeen species of shooting star are native to North America, including one northern species that migrated across the Bering Strait and now grows in Siberia. They belong to the primrose family, whose genus name Dodecatheon means “twelve gods.” This refers to the ancient belief that twelve deities protected the primrose. Ancient Roman naturalist Pliny gave the name Dodecatheon to the primrose, and Carl Linnaeus used it to name this genus in 1753. The species name “pulchellum” means “pretty” in Latin.
Western Shooting Star Germination: Direct sow in late fall, mixing the seed with sand for even sowing; plant on the surface, since these seeds need light to germinate. For early spring planting, mix the seed with moist sand and store it in the refrigerator for 60 days before direct sowing. This flower adapts well to rocky soil, since it often grows on rocky slopes in the wild.
Growing Western Shooting Star Seeds: This plant develops very slowly, taking up to three years to bloom when grown from seed. Keep the plants moist in the spring and during blooming, especially if they are located in full sun; the foliage will go dormant in the heat of summer, and does not need to be watered after that point. This plant will self-seed in good growing conditions. Mature plants can be divided in the fall. This plant attracts bees.
Harvesting Western Shooting Star: For fresh flowers, cut long stems of blossoms that have just opened and place them in water immediately.
Saving Western Shooting Star Seeds: After flowering, this plant will produce upward pointing seed pods. Harvest the seed pods as soon as they ripen to a papery light brown. Remove the seeds from the pods. Store the seeds in a cool, dry place.
Detailed Western Shooting Star Info: Origin: US Native Other Common Names: Darkthroat Shooting Star, Few-Flower Shooting Star, Pretty Shootingstar, American Cowslip, Mad Violets Duration: Perennial Bloom Time: Spring-Summer Height: 14-18 inches Spacing: 12-15 inches Light: Part Shade Soil Moisture: Wet to Medium USDA Zone: 3a-7b Seeds Per Oz: 90,000 Produces a plant with narrow 6” basal leaves and a smooth stalk topped by several 1” flowers, having five upward-twisting bright pinkish purple petals and a yellow tip pointing downwards.