Dodecatheon pulchellum is a glabrous, perennial, herbaceous flower perched in groups of 3 to 12 on top of a 5 to 40 cm tall, leafless stem. The magenta to lavender colored petals reach backward from a yellow collar along the stem at the base of the nodding flower, exposing the five fused, yellow and purple anthers extending out approxiamtely 1 cm. The flowers make their first appearance in May and will continue to arrive until August. The anthers contain a fine pollen that is released by the beating of the wings of bees. The basal leaves are spatulate with tapered, winged stalks, reaching up to 20cm long.The fruits produced are erect, egg-shaped capsules, 5 to 15 mm in length, splitting along a jagged seam to release the seeds in side.
D. pulchellum is found in moist to wet sites of plains to alpine elevations of the Rocky Mountains, from Alaska to New Mexico.
Other names for D. pulchellum include D. pauciflorum and D. radicatum.
Photo taken along the logging road to Strawberry Mountain Lookout near Montana City, Montana.
Hitchcock, C.L. and A. Cronquist (1994) Flora of the Pacific Northwest, University of Washington Press, Seattle and London.
Kershaw, L., A. MacKinnon and J. Pojar (1998) Plants of the Rocky Mountains. Lone Pine Publishing, Washing, Canada.