WILDFLOWERS OF NEW MEXICO

 

Branching single or multiple stems to 12-inches tall grow from a rosette of deeply-lobed basal leaves. Note the small yellow flowers with 5 petals, and scratchy leaves with hooked hairs that cling to clothes, and club-shaped fruit capsules tipped with tiny, finger-like lobes. Most Mentzelia have whitish stems.


FLOWER: February–July. The 1/2–3/4-inch (12–20 mm) wide flowers have 5 true petals and numerous stamens which do not extend beyond the petals. Flowers bloom atop a hairy, cylindrical calyx tube with lance-shaped lobes beneath the petals. The small leaf-like bracts beneath the tube are lance-shaped with entire margins or with 2 tooth-like points. The fruiting capsules, 3/8–1 1/8-inch (8–28 mm) long, often tapering to base, are covered with long hairs and tipped with 5 spikes (sepals) that stick out like tiny fingers. Tiny seeds have angular facets but not wings (use lens).


LEAVES: Basal rosette persistent, leaves lobed with a prominent white mid-vein. Alternate stem leaves 3/4–4 3/4-inches (2–12 cm) long and linear with entire margins or tooth-like lobes along the midrib.


HABITAT: Sandy, gravelly soils, arroyos, disturbed areas; desert grasslands and scrub, foothills, pinyon-juniper woodlands.


ELEVATION: 4,000–7000 feet.


RANGE: All states west of the Rockies.


SIMILAR SPECIES: NM has 17 species of stickleaf, including 5 endemics, most yellow and with limited distribution. Prairie Stickleaf, M. oligosperma, in the southern half of NM, has club-shaped (tip slightly enlarged) capsules and oval to triangular leaves with a pointed tip and irregular teeth. Rusby’s Blazingstar, M. rusbyi, in the central, and western mountains, is usually over 30-inches tall and branching in upper half, and has long linear leaves with wavy-lobed margins, white to yellow flowers with 5 petals and 3 petal-like stamens. Note the seed capsules have ridges.


NM COUNTIES: Widespread in western half of NM in low- to mid-elevation, dry habitats: Bernalillo, Catron, Cibola, Dona Ana, Grant, Hidalgo, Los Alamos, Luna, McKinley, Rio Arriba, San Juan, Sandoval, Santa Fe, Sierra, Socorro, Taos.

WHITESTEM  BLAZINGSTAR

MENTZELIA  ALBICAULIS

Blazingstar Family, Loasaceae

Annual herb

THE CONTENTS OF THIS WEBSITE ARE COPYRIGHTED AND CANNOT BE USED

WITHOUT PERMISSION OF GEORGE OXFORD MILLER

Hairy, smooth seed capsule is tipped with finger-like points of the sepals.

Rosette leaves are lobed; upper leaf margins entire or with tooth-like lobes (above).

HOME          SCIENTIFIC NAME          FAMILY NAME           SEARCH YELLOW          SEARCH RED          SEARCH BLUE


SEARCH WHITE         SEARCH CACTI         SEARCH LEAFLESS         GLOSSARY

EMAIL ME