There are 13 species of shooting star in North America, two of which can be found in Wisconsin. The most widespread and common species is Dodecatheon meadia.
A spring-blooming perennial native to eastern and central North America, D. meadia can be found gracing meadows and woodlands with its showy nodding flower heads throughout the month of May. Its pink or white fragrant blooms rise on stalks a foot or more above the foliage. A springtime ephemeral, it flowers, seeds, and goes dormant by midsummer.
Shooting star is a much loved Wisconsin native, but it has no known medicinal uses, and though it is not toxic, it is not considered edible. Enjoy this one simply for its unusual beauty!
D. meadia can be confused with the other Wisconsin shooting star species, D. amethystinum (jeweled shooting star), which has darker blooms and lacks the reddish tinge which is present at the base of the foliage in D. meadia.
Synonyms for D. meadia: Eastern shooting star, midland shooting star