This is one of the earliest blooming wildflowers, along with biscuitroot, buttercup, and yellow bells. Bluebells grow most frequently beneath sagebrush canopies and in other sheltered sites and on north-facing slopes. It is common in areas of abundant spring moisture.
Among the first plants to flower in the spring, prairie star is commonly found in the open, grassy areas of the shrub-steppe. The lobed white or pink petals cluster in ‘stars’ atop leafless two to ten inch stems. Leaves grow mostly at the base, about half to one inch long, with five wedge-shaped segments with three rounded teeth.
One of the first spring flowers in the Sage Hills is the distinctive bright yellow bell. Its nodding bell-shaped flowers grow singly or in pairs on the end of a short stem, four to twelve inches tall. They tend to become more orange as they age.
Wax currant is a compact but erect, many-branched, fragrant shrub that grows about four feet tall. The waxy, gray-green leaves are fan-shaped, generally in three to five less-defined lobes with gently scalloped edges.
Shooting star has flowers at the top of leafless stems two to sixteen inches tall. The leaves are smooth and oblong, one to six inches long, and grow from the base. The unusual shaped flower is easily identified by the five pink petals pulled back from five colorful stamens, nodding toward earth like a “shooting star”.