Next up in the countdown is the Shooting Star, a striking magenta member of the primrose family found in moist areas such as boggy meadows and on the banks of streams. This is definitely a favorite of mine.

Shooting Star, McCullough Gulch

Shooting Star, McCullough Gulch

The botanical name of the shooting star, Dodecatheon pulchellum, was bestowed by Pliny the Elder in 1st-century Rome to honor the pantheon of deities of his time (dodeca=twelve, theon=gods).

According to Wikipedia, this plant “was used medicinally by the Okanagan-Colville and Blackfoot Indians. An infusion of the roots was used as a wash for sore eyes. A cooled infusion of leaves was used for eye drops. An infusion of leaves was gargled, especially by children, for cankers.” Apparently the shooting star is as useful as it is pretty.

Shooting Stars and a tiny green bug, Crater Lakes, James Peak Wilderness

Shooting Stars and a tiny green bug, Crater Lakes, James Peak Wilderness

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