Saturday, January 28, 2006
Dodecatheon or Dodecantheon... which is it?
The shooting star (above is shown our native, D. meadia) is in the same family as primroses and cyclamens... but is the shooting star's genus Dodecatheon or Dodecantheon? For a while I just thought I was confused about the right spelling, then I decided other people were confused, and finally I decided that EVERYBODY is confused, as even scholarly papers can't agree on the correct spelling. I think I may well have spelled it both ways in previous postings on this blog. I decided I had to come down on one side or the other, so I looked into it, and I think it's correctly Dodecatheon. Pliny apparently named it, and it may be derived from Dodeka for twelve and theo for gods (though the similar word "parthenon", with its "n", and meaning "all the Greek gods", worries me a little). Well, anyway, I've put in my vote, and I'm sticking with it.