African Garden + woodland wildflowers

Wildflower Wednesday-Dodecatheon media

They say you never forget your first love. The first wildflower I knew and loved was Dodecatheon media album. Not that I knew it by that name, my siblings and I knew nothing about wildflowers or Latin, so we called them "the bee plants" because of their resemblance to a bee's stinger.

They grew around the house where I grew up, under the Burr Oak trees.
Dodecatheon media (commonly known as Shooting Star) is a forb of the Oak savanna, meaning that it likes open shade. It's also an ephemeral, disappearing rather quickly after flowering. Flower color is variable from pale pink to white. The base of the leaves gives a hint of the color of the flowers. This one will have pale pink flowers.

This one has white flowers and blooms a bit earlier.

I like the white because that's what was growing around my childhood home, and it will always hold a special place in my heart and my garden. From the foliage, it's clear that it belongs to the Primulaceae family.
Dodecatheon media blooms in April and May in the Chicago area, and the foliage is usually gone by July. It is best planted with Hostas, Brunnera or ferns to cover the fading leaves.

If you're looking for a big, flashy flower or a plant that has a long season of interest, Dodecatheons aren't for you. But if you have room for a graceful little charmer, you might want to include a few Dodecatheons.
Dodecatheon media Zone 4 to 8 Height 1.5 feet Spread 1 foot Shade or part shade Well drained to moist soils

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Wildflower Wednesday-Dodecatheon media + woodland wildflowers