Shooting Star Seed Capsules

Seed capsules of shooting star (Dodecatheon clevelandii ssp. patulum)

As we’ve seen this Winter, it is the norm for Southern California’s weather to be abnormal. Cool, wet weather in December was followed by weeks of warm, dry weather in January. It is hard to predict when it will be wet and when it will be dry. Especially if you are a plant.

This photograph of a shooting star (Dodecatheon clevelandii ssp. patulum) is from early February, when the weather was dry. Droplets of moisture can be seen clinging to the interior walls of the seed capsules. These climate moderated capsules helps ensure that the plant will produce viable seeds, even if an extended period of dry weather should occur after the plant blooms.