Montana Outdoors

April 13, 2013

Darkthroat Shooting Star

Filed under: Spring, Wildflowers — Tags: , — montucky @ 10:56 pm

Darkthroat Shootingstar

Dodecatheon pulchellum

There isn’t a white balance setting on my camera for “snow flurries”, but if this little plant can bloom in a driving snow, I am willing to be there to photograph it. Seems the least I can do. And besides, spring-time snowflakes feel oh, so good going down the back of my neck.

The genus name for this flower comes from the Greek dodeka (twelve) and theos (god) and means ‘the plant protected by twelve gods’. I like the thought.


  1. It’s a beauty, and if it’s near a lake, there might be an insect hatch on, judging by the little critter crawling on one of the flowers.


    Comment by wordsfromanneli — April 13, 2013 @ 11:20 pm

  2. isn’t that pretty & very intricate =)


    Comment by Tricia — April 14, 2013 @ 12:17 am

    • Wouldn’t it be interesting to know how that structure came about and what makes it successful?


      Comment by montucky — April 14, 2013 @ 12:22 am

  3. That is a beautiful little flower, and I love the meaning of its name! No spring snowflakes here – driving rain and strong winds (but we’ve had no real rain for about four weeks).


    Comment by Jo Woolf — April 14, 2013 @ 12:40 am

    • I was a favorite when I was a child and still brings pleasure when it appears in the spring. It also grows at a wide range of elevations and a huge variety of conditions.


      Comment by montucky — April 14, 2013 @ 8:20 am

  4. Very nice flower.


    Comment by bentehaarstad — April 14, 2013 @ 4:14 am

  5. That’s a beauty! It’s surprising to see something so beautiful blooming so early.


    Comment by New Hampshire Gardener — April 14, 2013 @ 5:14 am

    • It is more complex than most of the very early bloomers, but it’s quite small.


      Comment by montucky — April 14, 2013 @ 8:22 am

  6. Well! It’s been a long time since I’ve thought of “dodecahedron”! It’s just not a word I have much use for, but I loved the reminder from this lovely flower’s scientific name. I never fail to be impressed by the complexity of some of these flowers or the vividness of their colors. They certainly do catch the eye!


    Comment by shoreacres — April 14, 2013 @ 5:49 am

    • And the sheer number of species. I recently completed a project with my wildflower photo library and found (among other things) that I have photos of about 230 different species. All of these are found in the area that I seem to cover in my wanderings, about 1,000 square miles, only 1/149th of the total area of Montana.


      Comment by montucky — April 14, 2013 @ 8:26 am

  7. This is one I have never seen. When I laid eyes on it, I thought it sure looks a lot like it belongs to the nightshde family. But I looked it up and found it was not so.


    Comment by jomegat — April 14, 2013 @ 6:49 am

    • Yes, the blossom does resemble those of the nightshades. I have thought that too.


      Comment by montucky — April 14, 2013 @ 8:27 am

  8. Wow. Absolutely beautiful image and words. May I create a micro-poem from these ideas and use your photo, with attribution given to you, of course


    Comment by Teresa Evangeline — April 14, 2013 @ 7:08 am

  9. Thanks for the promise of spring!


    Comment by Carol — April 14, 2013 @ 7:47 am

    • Spring is clearly in progress now, even through some rather harsh weather. Amazing what the plants are able to tolerate!


      Comment by montucky — April 14, 2013 @ 8:31 am

  10. lovely!


    Comment by Debby — April 14, 2013 @ 1:24 pm

  11. Such an unusual looking flower. Almost looks tropical. Very cool!


    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — April 14, 2013 @ 3:15 pm

    • Makes you wonder why that configuration, doesn’t it. They are small, but sometimes you get to see a whole meadow full of them and then they turn the meadow pink.


      Comment by montucky — April 14, 2013 @ 7:26 pm

  12. One of my favorite flowers as well! Very interesting word origin. 🙂


    Comment by twoscamps — April 14, 2013 @ 3:22 pm

    • It was an old standby for all the kids I knew when I was growing up. There were more flowers then near the towns.


      Comment by montucky — April 14, 2013 @ 7:27 pm

  13. The lower portion of the flower looks like an upside-down candle, don’t you think?


    Comment by Steve Schwartzman — April 14, 2013 @ 4:35 pm

  14. A simply wonderful photograph. Wish I could see it in person!


    Comment by WildBill — April 14, 2013 @ 5:12 pm

    • I wish you could too, Bill! You would have a great time here when the various wildflowers appear!


      Comment by montucky — April 14, 2013 @ 7:29 pm

  15. That’s really pretty. Have you posted this beauty in years past?


    Comment by kcjewel — April 14, 2013 @ 7:41 pm

    • Thanks. Yes, I’m sure I have. It’s one of my favorite early flowers.


      Comment by montucky — April 14, 2013 @ 7:51 pm

  16. Seems as though there is late snow a lot of places this year…although maybe this isn’t really late for you. I love seeing these flowers when you post them, they’re so unusual (to me).


    Comment by Candace — April 18, 2013 @ 12:09 am

    • This is an interesting spring here. It was a little late in the valley but is now in full swing. Higher up it is barely starting and late at that. Today I visited a trillium patch that is usually in full bloom by this time. There were flowers there, but the bloom had barely begun. A mile on up the trail and it was winter.


      Comment by montucky — April 18, 2013 @ 8:18 pm

  17. I like that name, but spring time snow flakes…not so much! 😉


    Comment by skouba — April 18, 2013 @ 7:54 pm

    • Spring snowflakes are standard around here, Stacey. There is a chance of snow in our forecast for Saturday night and Sunday still.


      Comment by montucky — April 18, 2013 @ 8:30 pm

  18. What a beauty which is not in Finland. I admire Your ability to make observations of nature and then to shoot terrific photos from them.


    Comment by Sartenada — April 18, 2013 @ 11:30 pm

    • Thanks Matti. I am always pleased when you like the wildflowers. They just don’t get all of the attention that they deserve.


      Comment by montucky — April 19, 2013 @ 9:06 pm

  19. Looks like nature’s paintbrush! 🙂


    Comment by Val — April 23, 2013 @ 3:42 pm

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