Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Foothill Shooting Star (Dodecatheon hendersonii)

The Foothill Shooting Star or the Mosquitobill Shooting Star is native to California and found as far south as San Bernadio and as far north as British Columbia. The flower is especially at home here in the Bay Area with a preference for sparsely populated woodlands. The flowers themselves have a distinctive downward shape which grow in small clumps on the end of a stem roughly 10-30cm tall.  the petals are swept back with the stamen pointing down. The entire plant will die back to the ground after winter rains leave, flowering often early in the spring and as long as the ground remains wet.

Commonly confused with: none, very distinctive plant.

Look for them: With other wildflowers early in the spring and just after rains.

Native Uses: The flower can reportedly be eaten once boiled but are toxic raw and has no specific medicinal purpose.  

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