Glabrous scapose perennial herbs, with entire or repand basal leaves. Flowers large or middle-sized in involucrate umbels terminating scapes. Calyx deeply 5-lobed, persistent, the lobes at first reflexed. Corolla 5-parted, the lobes reflexed, slightly unequal, imbricated, the tube very short, thickened at the throat. Stamens 5, inserted on the throat of the corolla; filaments short, flat, monadelphous, connivent into a cone, exserted; anthers linear or lanceolate, connivent, attached by their bases to the filaments. Ovary ovoid or subglobose, superior; ovules numerous, amphitropous; style filiform, exserted; stigma simple. Capsule oblong or cylindric, erect, 5-6-valved at the apex or splitting to the base. Seeds numerous, minute; the testa punctate. [Greek, twelve gods; name used by Theophrastus for some different plant.]

About 30 species, natives of North America and northeastern Asia. Besides the following typical one, some 20 others occur in western and northwestern North America.

1. Dodecatheon Meadia L. Shooting Star. American Cowslip

Fig. 3302

Dodecatheon Meadia L. Sp. Pl. 144. 1753. Dodecatheon Meadia Frenchii Vasey; Wats. & Coult. in A. Gray, Man. Ed. 6, 735 b. 1891.

Perennial by a stout rootstock; roots fibrous; scape erect, 8'-2° high. Leaves oblong to ovate or oblanceo-late, obtuse or obtusish at the apex, narrowed into margined petioles or subcordate, entire or toothed, 3'-12' long, 1/2'-4' wide; flowers few, several or numerous in the umbels, 9'-15" long; bracts of the involucre lanceolate or linear, acute; pedicels recurved in flower, erect in fruit, unequal, the outer ones sometimes 4' long; calyx-lobes triangular-lanceolate, acute; corolla purple, pink or white; anthers 3"-4" long; capsule narrowly ovoid, erect, 5-valved above, 6"-8" high, much longer than the calyx.

On moist cliffs and prairies, Pennsylvania to Manitoba, south to Georgia and Texas. Indian-chief. Rooster-heads. Johnny-jump. Pride-of-Ohio. April - May.

Dodecatheon brachycąrpa Small, with an ovoid capsule 5" long, scarcely longer than the calyx, inhabits the Southern States and is erroneously recorded north to Maryland and Missouri.

Dodecatheon Hugeri Small, with anthers prominently auricled at base, ranges north into Maryland.

1 Dodecatheon Meadia L Shooting Star American Cows 1644