Dodecateon is a perennial herbaceous plant of the primrose family, fascinates with its inverted flowers on thin invisible stems. It was widely distributed in the prairies of North America, as well as in Kamchatka and Chukotka along the Pacific coast.

A difficult name for an ordinary person led to the formation of many synonyms. In various countries, the plant is called:

  • gooseberry;
  • chime;
  • steppe;
  • meteor;
  • indicating prairie.

For its recognizable profile, the plant even fell on the emblem of the American Society of Rocky Garden Lovers (NARGS).


The rhizome of the plant is fibrous, with long fleshy processes. A basal rosette of leaves is formed near the ground, it consists of 5-7 oval, leaflets pointed to the edge. The color of the foliage is saturated bright green. Leaf plates are 3-6 cm wide and up to 30 cm long.

Dense erect stems are completely naked, depending on the variety, they can be from light green to brown or burgundy. The height of the stem is 5-70 cm. Its upper part is branched and represents a paniculate inflorescence. About one dozen buds are formed on one inflorescence on individual pedicels curved in an arc.

The flowers are small, up to 3 cm wide, with petals bent back. The core is completely exposed, covered with anthers and has one ovary. Oval petals are slightly twisted along the vertical axis and painted in white, purple, purple or pink. Flowering begins in early June and lasts a little over a month. Then a small seed box ripens. In shape, it resembles a barrel and contains many tiny seeds.

At the end of flowering in mid-August, the leaves begin to wither and after a few days the ground part of the plant completely disappears.

Varieties and varieties

The dodecateon is quite diverse, with a total of 15 major species with 23 subspecies. Of course, for cultivation it is enough to pick up 2-3 varieties.

Dodecateon Alpine named after its habitat, it is found in the mountains, at an altitude of up to 3.5 km. The leaves in the basal rosette are elongated, their width is 3 cm, and their length is up to 10 cm. Small flowers (diameter of one 20-25 mm) have 4 oval petals with light pink edges and a bright or, conversely, white spot at the base. On a stem 10-30 cm tall, there is a rosette with 1-10 peduncles for each bud. Flowering continues from June to August.

Dodecateon Alpine

Dodecateon Medium spread from the east of the North American continent. It is found in nature on a rocky slope or sunny forest glade. Wide-oval foliage reaches a length of 10 to 30 cm, while the stems grow 15-50 cm from the ground. The color of the petals is yellow, white or purple-pink. Up to a dozen flowers with a diameter of 3 cm are collected in an umbrella inflorescence. Flowering begins in mid-June and lasts up to 35 days. This species has undersized varieties up to 20 cm high:

  • alba - with white petals;
  • redwings - with scarlet or raspberry inflorescences.
Dodecateon Medium

Cleveland Dodecateon found on the west coast of North America, from Mexico to California. The plant looks like a small bush due to several stems. From one root 5-16 pieces grow from a height of 30 to 60 cm. The flowers are light, pink-lilac, have yellow and white rims near the core. The diameter of the flower is 25 mm. Among the popular varieties of this species are:

  1. Hermit. Most decorative due to the wavy edges of the petals and leaves. The length of the latter is 10 cm. The height of the stems is 30-45 cm, lush umbrellas carry up to 18 flowers of pale pink or lilac color. The core is coal-black, covered with small yellow stamens.
  2. Spreading. Very low-growing variety, only 5-20 cm high. Short oval leaves are 2.5-5 cm long. The plant produces 1-6 stems covered with lilac-red inflorescences. Blooms in late spring.
  3. Sacred. It begins to develop earlier than other plants. Vegetative shoots wake up by the end of January, bloom in late February or early March. The height of the bush is 15-30 cm, the leaves are saturated green in color 5-10 cm in length. Inflorescences consist of 3-7 lilac buds with a diameter of 2.5 cm.
  4. Samson. The height of the plant is 35-50 cm. Small umbrellas are formed on the stems with flowers of saturated shades (pink or purple). Flowering begins in mid-June.
  5. Angel of the heart. It has raspberry-colored petals and a black core.
  6. Aphrodite. Tall plant (up to 70 cm) with large lilac or raspberry flowers.
Cleveland Dodecateon

Dodecateon Jeffrey distinguished by a special love for moist soil. The leaves are elongated up to 20 cm in length, peduncles 50 cm high crown bright inflorescences of lilac or purple color with white and yellow rings at the center. The petals are slightly twisted in a spiral, which gives a decorative look to the plant.

Dodecateon Jeffrey

Dodecateon serratus prefers a humid environment, it can be found in moist deciduous forests, as well as near waterfalls or streams. Lush rosette of oval leaves have a bright green color. The edges of the leaves are finely serrated. The plant is low, up to 20 cm tall. White flowers with a purple ring at the core. Stamens are purple or red-violet.

Dodecateon serratus

Growing and caring for dodecateon

Dodecateon is very easily propagated by dividing the bush. Such a procedure is even recommended once every 4-5 years to thin out the thickets. In mid-autumn, an adult bush is dug up and divided into several small parts, each of which is dug in a garden in a new place.

You can grow january from seeds. It develops very quickly, so seedling is not necessary. In mid-April, on light fertile soil, seeds are sown on beds. Within two weeks, the first leaves appear. They quickly fade and fall away, but this should not be scared. The plant did not die at all, its root continues to develop. A week later, a new shoot is formed.

You should not expect that the seedlings will bloom in the first year, the dodecateon develops very slowly and may not bloom for 3-5 years.

Dodecateon is very unpretentious in care. A hardy plant can survive both hot, dry weather and severe frosts. In the garden, prefers partial shade and good hydration. Due to dampness, it can suffer from slugs, against which a special chemical treatment is carried out. It is recommended to feed the plant with humus every month.

For winter, the plant does not need shelter, it is enough to mulch the ground with peat or compost.


Dodecatehons are good in group plantings near curbs, along hedges or in rock gardens. These hygrophilous plants are suitable for framing small ponds. They go well with stunted conifers or ferns.

The joker is good in that it pleases with flowering one of the first, when other plants are only gaining strength. But it fades too early, and even leaves fall by August. To prevent bald spots on the flower bed, it is necessary to combine the plant with green ground cover specimens. Good neighbors for the dodecateon will be European hoof, host, geyhera, stone-chopper or aquilegia.