Shooting Stars are doubly welcome, as a harbinger of spring, but also as one of the most beautiful flowers in the county. The swept-back petals are immediately identifiable, and the long, exserted anthers appear more or less fused to form an elongated cone around the style. The flower color is typically pale to dark pink, with white and yellow bands between the base of the petals and the anthers. White forms are not unusual, occasionally with yellow bases and pale anthers. The varieties differ in very subtle ways. Var. gracilis (which is the coastal form) has a distinct yellow spot at the base of each anther. Var. insularis (the inland form) does not. Photos #1 and 6 by CJH.