E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Dodecatheon conjugens Greene
slimpod (Bonneville shootingstar; desert shootingstar; slimpod shootingstar)
Primulaceae

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #83588)

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Distribution of Dodecatheon conjugens
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SUBTAXA PRESENT IN BC
Dodecatheon conjugens ssp. viscidum

Species Information

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General:
Plants fibrous-rooted; roots whitish; bulblets absent.
Stems:
Scapes usually glandular-puberulent on the lower portion (rarely entirely glandular), 5-30 cm tall.
Leaves:
Leaves lanceolate or oblanceolate to narrowly ovate, base gradually to abruptly tapering to the short, broadly winged petiole, entire, surfaces usually glandular-puberulent (at least along the margins) or rarely glabrescent, 3-13 (20) cm.
Flowers:
Inflorescences of 1-7 (10) flowers; involucral bracts lanceolate, glandular-puberulent, 3-10 mm. Flowers long-stalked; corolla tube and throat yellow, with a fine, wavy, reddish ring around the throat; corolla lobes pink (rarely white), 7-25 (35) mm; pollen sacs usually purplish-brown, sometimes yellowish or purple-spotted; calyces green, sometimes purple-speckled, usually glabrous (sometimes glandular), 5-12 mm; filaments usually distinct to their base (sometimes slightly connate), yellow or purplish-spotted to wholly dark purplish-brown; connective purplish-brown, usually with some yellow (at least apically), transversely rugose; stigma not enlarged relative to the style; pedicels glandular-puberulent, 1-5 cm. . Flowering Apr-Jun.
Fruits:
Capsules tan, cylindric, circumcissile, 8-12 mm.

Source: The Vascular Flora of British Columbia, draft 2014.
Author: Jamie Fenneman

Habitat / Range

Moist seeps, grassy slopes, and meadows, usually in sagebrush communities or dry coniferous forests, in the steppe and montane (rarely subalpine) zones. Common in se BC (Rocky Mts., s Rocky Mtn. Trench); east to SK, south to CA, NV, WY.

Source: The Vascular Flora of British Columbia, draft 2014.
Author: Jamie Fenneman

Additional Notes

Dodecatheon conjugens may potentially hybridize with D. pulchellum var. pulchellum based on occasional individuals with narrower leaves and slightly connate filaments. D. conjugens var. viscidum may be confused with the similarly glandular D. pulchellum var. cusickii, with which it often grows, and care is advised when attempting to distinguish these two taxa. Variety conjugens is best separated from var. cusickii by its transversely rugose connectives (vs. smooth or longitudinally wrinkled in var. cusickii), typically broader and rounder leaves, circumcissile (vs. 5-valvate) capsules, and the usually sparsely glandular-puberulent (vs. densely glandular-pubescent) leaves, pedicels, and scapes. The more southern D. conjugens var. conjugens, which is largely glabrous and lacks the extensive glandular puberulence of var. viscidum, has been attributed for B.C. by many authors, but these reports are apparently based on glabrescent examples of var. viscidum. The nominate variety occurs north to northern Washington, northern Idaho, and northwest Montana, and occasional reports from B.C. may be the result of introgression of the two subspecies in border areas.

Source: The Vascular Flora of British Columbia, draft 2014
Author: Jamie Fenneman

Family Information

Primulaceae:

Annual, biennial, or perennial forbs; scapose; from fibrous roots, short rhizome, or branched caudex, occasionally mat-forming or cespitose. Scapes ascending to erect, solitary or several per plant, unbranched. Leaves all basal, often rosulate, simple, unlobed, entire to toothed, subsessile to stalked, glabrous to pubescent, sometime glandular. Inflorescence a terminal, bracteate umbel, or flowers solitary. Flowers radially symmetric, 5-merous, bisexual, stalked; corolla campanulate or tubular to salviform, lobes sometimes sharply reflexed, usually whitish or pinkish to deep magenta, 4- to 5-lobed; calyces 4- to 5-lobed; stamens 5; filaments distinct or partially connate; ovary superior; style 1. Fruits 5-chambered dehiscent capsules, valvate to circumcissile. Genera 20, species ca. 600 (4 genera, 15 spp. in B.C.). Widespread in arctic, temperate, and subtropical regions of the northern hemisphere; disjunct in equatorial regions (e.g., e Africa, Indonesia) and in the southern hemisphere (e.g., s South America).

Non-scapose genera that were formerly included in Primulaceae ( Anagallis, Glaux, Lysimachia, Trientalis) have now been moved to Myrsinaceae (Källersjö et al. 2000, Trift et al. 2002, Cholewa and Kelso 2009). Many species in this family have a pronounced association with calcareous environments and are subsequently rather locally distributed within the province. Primulaceae contains a number of very showy species, and several genera have become important ornamentals in the horticultural trade (e.g., Primula, Dodecatheon).

Key to the Genera of Primulaceae

1a. Corolla lobes >2 times as long as the tube, sharply reflexed; stamens far exserted; filaments often at least partially connate (distinct in some species) .........................................................................Dodecatheon

1b. Corolla lobes less than twice as long as the tube, not reflexed; stamens included; filaments never connate…………………….........................2

2a. Calyces keeled (at least on the tube); plants densely cespitose (cushion-like) or mat-forming perennials with clusters of leaves at the bases of the scapes (rarely taprooted biennials), corollas rose-pink (fading to lavender, rarely to whitish).…...............................................Douglasia

2b. Calyces not keeled or only weakly keeled in fruit; plants taprooted annuals or perennials from fibrous roots or short rhizomes, or if mat-forming perennials (i.e., Androsace chamaejasme), then corollas white or pink-tinged with a yellow or pink throat..……………………….……………………………………………………………………………………...................................3

3a. Corollas constricted at the throat, magenta to lavender (rarely white), usually >7 mm across; plants never densely grey-hairy… ………………………………………………………...…………………………………………………..................................................Primula

3b. Corollas not constricted at the throat, white (sometimes fading pinkish in A. chamaejasme), usually <5 mm across (if >5 mm, then plants densely grey-hairy)…….……….......................................................……Androsace


Source: The Vascular Flora of British Columbia, draft 2014.
Author: Jamie Fenneman

Genus Information

Scapose, fibrous-rooted or short-rhizomatous perennial herbs, sometimes with numerous rice-like bulblets at the bases of the leaves. Scapes erect, solitary. Leaves all basal, rosulate, petiolate, simple, glabrous to glandular-hairy. Inflorescences terminal, bracteate umbellate or flowers solitary. Flowers long-stalked, the pedicels usually recurved (longer and more erect in fruit); corollas pink or white, tubular, usually white or yellow at the throat, with 4-5 long reflexed lobes; stamens well-exserted, usually dark purplish-black or reddish-purple, with short yellow filaments and anthers sometimes united at the base; ovary superior; calyces tubular, not keeled, glabrous or minutely glandular, 5-lobed, lobes spreading or reflexed and usually exceeding the tube. Capsules ovoid to cylindrical, exceeding the calyx, thin-walled, circumcissile and/or opening by five apical slits. 17 spp. (6 spp. in B.C.); North America, Mexico, e Asia.

The greatest diversity of species in this genus is found in western North America. Recent molecular-genetic research has convincingly demonstrated that Dodecatheon is derived from within Primula (specifically, from Primula subg. Auriculastrum) and therefore should be included within that genus to preserve its monophyly (Mast et al. 2004, Mast and Reveal 2007, Reveal 2009). It is retained as distinct here, however, due to its highly distinctive and consistent morphology, although nomenclatural combinations within Primula are provided for use if preferred. The evolution of Dodecatheon from within Primula subg. Auriculastrum has apparently been facilitated through an adaptation to buzz pollination in Dodecatheon (Mast et al. 2004). Species boundaries are not always sharply defined in this genus, and this is exacerbated by the tendency of populations to exhibit considerable vegetative plasticity in response to factors such as moisture levels, elevation, aspect, competing vegetation, and season. In addition, some species (i.e., D. pulchellum, D. conjugens) show significant geographic variation in the Pacific Northwest, which can blur the distinctions between the infraspecific taxa. Close investigation of the characteristics of the stigmas and filaments in Dodecatheon may be required for conclusive identification of some specimens, and these characters can be hard to observe in poorly-pressed specimens; the texture of the connective (the flattened portion of the anther between the pollen sacs) is of particular importance.


Source: The Vascular Flora of British Columbia, draft 2014.
Author: Jamie Fenneman

Ecology

Ecological Framework for Dodecatheon conjugens

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class

Minimum

Average

Maximum

Elevation (metres) 745 1291 2563
Slope Gradient (%) 0 21 88
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
90 194 315
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 2 4
Modal Nutrient Regime
Class
C
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
34
Modal BEC Zone Class
PP
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: ESSF(11), IDF(1), IMA(1), MS(6), PP(13)

Climate

The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Dodecatheon conjugens var. viscidum (Piper) H. Mason ex H. St. John
Dodecatheon viscidum Piper

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References