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Dodecatheon Meadia - Hardy Perennial

Author: John Wood

Dodecatheon Meadia - Hardy Perennials and Old Fashioned Flowers

Dodecatheon Meadia Described.

Dodecatheon Meadia - Shooting Star, or American Cowslip; Nat. Ord. Primulaceæ.

A distinct and pretty herbaceous perennial, very hardy and floriferous. Those who do not readily recognise it by any of the above names, may do so by the illustration. It has long been grown in English gardens—nearly 150 years—its habitat being North America. Not only does it do well in this climate, but since its introduction several improved varieties of this species have been produced, which are both good and distinct. A brief notice of them will not be out of place here, but first the general description may as well be given.

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Dodecatheon Meadia

The flowers much resemble the Cyclamen, but they are only about one-fourth the size; the calyx is five-parted; the corolla has five stout petals inserted in the tube of calyx; they are well reflexed and rather twisted; their colour is purplish-lilac, but at the base of the petals there is a rich blending of maroon and yellow. The seed organs are very long, compact, and pointed, giving the appearance of shooting stars. The flowers are arranged in fine clusters on a scape more than a foot high, each flower having a rather long, wiry, and gracefully bending pedicel; all of them spring from one centre. The leaves are radical, oblong, smooth, dented, and wavy, about 8in. long and nearly 3in. broad.

D. M. albiflorum I do not grow, but from what I remember of it, it differs from the above only in being less vigorous and in having white flowers.

D. M. elegans.—Shorter and broader in leaf, and roundly toothed; flower stems shorter, umbels more numerously flowered, bloom deeper in colour.

D. M. giganteum has a very large leaf, much larger than the typical form of the species, and of a pale green colour, and in all other respects it is larger, being also more than a week earlier in flower.

Flowering period, April to June.

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