Ethnobotany. With the Thompson People, the flowers were used by women «to obtain the love of men and to help them control men or were used as a charm «to obtain wealth & to make people give presents.» As mentioned in “The Ethnobotany of the Thompson Indians of British Columbia”. Steedman, E.V., 1928.
Description par Jim Reveal. Plants 1–6(–7.5) dm, glandular-pubescent at least in part, not sticky. Caudex not obvious at anthesis or more commonly short, thick, generally horizontal, occasionally stout, elongate and horizontal; roots generally white; bulblets absent. Leaves (2.5–) 7–40(–53) ´ (0.5–) 1–6(–7.5) cm, decurrent to base; blade usually gradually tapering to a winged petiole, narrowly oblanceolate or more commonly broader to spatulate, glabrous or glandular-pubescent, margins entire or crenate to serrulate. Inflorescences 3–20-flowered; bracts lanceolate to broadly lanceolate, 3–17 mm; pedicels 2–7 cm at anthesis, glandular-pubescent, rarely glabrous. Flowers 4–5-merous; calyx 7–12(–15) mm, glandular-pubescent, rarely glabrous, tube 2–4 mm, lobes 4.5–8(–12) mm; corolla lobes 1–2.5(–2.7) cm, magenta to lavender or light yellow to whitish, tube cream or (rarely) yellow with a thin to thick, often wavy, reddish to purplish ring, ring rarely absent; filaments free or partially fused, usually 1–1.5 mm, dark maroon to black; anthers 6.5–11 mm, truncate to obtuse apically, pollen sacs yellow or maroon, connective rugose, purplish; stigma enlarged by no more than twice diameter of style. Capsules ovoid, 7–11(–15) ´ 4.5–7(–10) mm, yellowish-tan to reddish brown, glabrous or teeth occasionally sparsely glandular-puberulent, operculate or valvate, occasionally both on same plant; walls thin. 2n = 42, 44, 66, 86. Flowering summer. Dry to moist stream banks, lakeshores, bogs, and meadows mainly in montane conifer woodlands; 0–3000 m; B.C.; Alaska; Calif., Idaho, Mont., Oreg., Wash., Wyo.
Tall mountain shootingstar is found in widely scattered montane places in the Sierra Nevada of California and extreme western Nevada and on the northern coastal ranges and Siskiyou Mountains of northern California and southwestern Oregon. The species occurs northward in the Cascade Ranges of Oregon, Washington and British Columbia to the Kenai Peninsula region of south central Alaska, often near the coast especially on many of the off-shore islands. Inland in the United States the plant is widely scattered in the mountains of northeastern Oregon, central and northern Idaho, and western Montana. Isolated stations occur on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington. A single collection (J. Major 2927, GTNP) from Moose Basin, Grand Teton National Park, is the only record from Wyoming.
Primula jeffreyi is usually readily recognized, but in portions of California, the Primula redolens can be somewhat arbitrary. Whether this is a breakdown of species boundaries due to hybridization or a shift in their respective morphologies due to overlapping ecological settings is uncertain. At least in a few instances, intermediate plants seem to occur in areas where two of the species occur in close proximity. In general, the corolla tube of Primula jeffreyi is white except near the ring where it is yellow. In Primula redolens, the entire corolla tube is yellow.
Reference Books. Revision of Dodecatheon. James Reveal.