The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
Rae Selling Berry Seed Bank & Plant Conservation Programs
The conservation of Dodecatheon austrofrigidum is fully sponsored.
Edward Guerrant, Ph.D. contributed to this Plant Profile.
The frigid shooting star (Dodecatheon austrofrigidum) is a seemingly delicate plant that makes its home in some tough neighborhoods. Known from only eight locations, this rare shooting star is only found on ridges and steep basalt slopes along cold rivers in western Oregon and Washington. In these habitats, shooting star roots cling to exposed rocky slopes with little or no soil. The frigid shooting star is able to survive on rock faces, despite a seeming paucity of available nutrients and disturbance from the rivers in flood years.
Human activities create hazards that could threaten this plant's long-term existence. Logging near frigid shooting star populations can raise water levels, causing flooding and significant erosion that can bury or dislodge the plants. The Berry Botanic Garden has monitored frigid shooting stars at one site, in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management. Our research indicated that population size can fluctuate greatly, in part due to river behavior. Scientists have only begun to learn about this plant's unique biology and population trends.
Distribution & Occurrence
Dodecatheon austrofrigidum grows on steep basalt slopes along rivers (3-15 ft or 1-5 m from the water's edge) and nearby ridges at elevations of 100 to 3000 ft (30-915 m). It grows in cracks and crevices with little or no soil.
OR: Coast Range
WA: Olympic Peninsula (Olympic National Forest) and southwest Washington
|As of 1996: 8 populations (Raven 1996).
6 in Oregon with unknown numbers.
2 in Washington with 15 and 100 individuals respectively (WNHP 2000)
Conservation, Ecology & Research
The association between moss and D. austrofrigidum is consistent with the theory that moss invades cracks in basalt rock surface and creates a substrate in which D. austrofrigidum can take root (Fournier and Scofield 1993). The frigid shooting star occurs with few associated species.
Logging and cattle grazing upstream contribute to rainwater and debris run-off that can scour the habitat when water levels rise (Raven 1995b).
Trampling (Raven 1996).
Once pollinated, frigid shooting star fruits require several months to reach full maturity.
Germination trials at The Berry Botanic Garden. Seeds were subjected to four treatments:
1) direct placement into a germination chamber set at a constant 68F (20C), 2) direct placement into a chamber with alternating temperatures (50F/68F, or 10C/20C), 3) eight weeks of cold stratification followed by placement in the 20C chamber and 4) eight weeks of cold stratification followed by placement in the alternating temperature chamber. Seeds that were cold stratified and then placed in the alternating temperature chamber germinated at a rate of 40%. No other seeds germinated. Further research should be done to further examine germination requirements for this species (Berry Botanic Garden File).
Seed from 2 locations stored at The Berry Botanic Garden.
Listed as Threatened by the State of Washington.
One site in Oregon is located on land designated as an Adaptive Management Area (AMA) managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
In 2001, Willamette Industries, a large timber corporation, donated 387 acres to the Nature Conservancy of Oregon, on which one population of D. austrofrigidum is found. Management activities will include inventory, monitoring, and ecological studies of the many sensitive species found on the preserve (TNC 2001).
Yearly censusing to detect changes in population sizes and consistent monitoring of plant size (Raven 1996).
Research reproductive biology to determine to determine the typical range of reproductive output and what factors contribute to low sexual reproduction (Raven 1995b).
Populations in Washington and those occurring on ridges have not been studied.
Determine optimum germination requirements.
Determine propagation and reintroduction protocols.
WNHP. (2000). Washington Natural Heritage Program Database. Olympia, Washington.