Primulaceae (Primrose Family)
A family with few representatives in desert country, but two species occur at high elevations in this range.
Androsace septentrionalisL. var. subumbellataA. Nels. Alpine Androsace. (Plate 6.175) It is worth a search to find this little miniature, which is far smaller than its name. Its numerous branched or simple, threadlike stems are mostly 1/4–1 in (6–25 mm) long, rising from a dense tuft of minute leaves. The flowers are five-parted, the calyx lobes lanceolate, and the short-tubed corolla hardly showing above them. The stems and calyx are commonly reddish. Flower: White or pink.
Distribution. Rocky places, Alpine Fell-fields; White Mountains; Alpine Zone, 11,000–14, 100 ft (3,354–4,299 m).
Dodecatheon redolens(Hall) H.J. Thompson. Shooting Star. (Plate 6.176) A lightly glandular perennial, 10–20 in (25–50 cm) tall. Leaves are erect, linear oblanceolate, tapering to their petioles, 6–14 in (15–35 cm) long in all. Flowers are in terminal clusters on naked stems. They are five-parted and about 1 1/4 in (3 cm) long. Petals are broadly elliptic, flaring back, and the five stamens protrude like a beak. Flower: Yellow at the base with petals lavender to magenta.
Distribution. Damp meadows and streamsides; Subalpine and Alpine zones, 9,500–11,800 ft (2,896–3,598 m).