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The Jeweled Shooting Star (Dodecatheon amethystinum) in Illinois

John E. Schwegman
Castanea
Vol. 49, No. 2 (Jun., 1984), pp. 74-82
Published by: Allen Press on behalf of the Southern Appalachian Botanical Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4033267
Page Count: 9
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The Jeweled Shooting Star (Dodecatheon amethystinum) in Illinois
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Abstract

Jeweled shooting star (Dodecatheon amethystinum Fassett) was observed at 46 sites in 9 Illinois counties in 1981, 1982 and 1983. It apparently grows only on river bluffs and ravine habitats closely associated with river bluffs. The Illinois plants comprise two populations separated by 237 kilometers. While plants were found on bluffs covered by both the Kansan and Illinoian glaciers, no plants were found on bluffs overrun by the Wisconsinan glacier. The present populations are interpreted as relicts of a former more widespread distribution along the ancient Mississippi River either during the Sangamonian interglacial stage or the Wisconsinan glacial stage. The most reliable characters for separating D. amethystinum from D. meadia in Illinois were found to be capsule wall thickness and flower color.

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