Dodecatheon clevelandii ssp. insulare – Padre’s Shooting Star

This little gem, Dodecatheon clevelandii ssp insulare, is a member of the Primulaceae family and a Californian native.  In the wild it inhabits open grassland where it grows and flowers during the wet spring, dying back and becoming dormant in the summer thereby avoiding the scorching Californian summers.  With us it experiences slightly (!) different climatic conditions and, although I live in perpetual hope, it is unlikely to be roasted by the relentless sun this, or any, summer.   This means it is all the more important that its dormancy is in a relatively well-drained and sunny position in the garden.  We grow it on the Strip Bed and it has survived for the last 5 years, popping up on cue in the spring having rested through rain, ice and snow and even the odd sunny spell.  Its reflexed petals, in a wonderful cerise pink, give rise to its common name of Shooting Star but quite where the Padre comes into to it, I have no idea.  Perhaps I should have made something up.


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