The Shooting Star gets its name from the shape of its showy flowers – the petals of the flowers are swept backwards, revealing the golden anthers. The flowers are borne in a cluster on top of a tall stalk – a group of shooting stars. It is an easy plant to growif the conditions are suitable -adamp situation (by the poolside is ideal) and some shade. It is an eye-catching specimen in summer when the flowers are present, but in winter the leaves die down and nothing can be seen above ground.

VARIETIES: The most popular species of Shooting Star (American Cowslip) is D. meadia – height 1.5. spread 1 ft.

Flowering period: June-July. The usual flower colour is rose-purple, but both white and red varieties are available. If your rockery is small D. pauciflorum (9 in.) would be more suitable.

SITE AND SOIL: Requires a moist but well-drained site – thrives best in light shade.

PROPAGATION: Sow seeds under glass or divide clumps in spring.

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