Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Mentzelia dispersa
bushy blazing-star

Distribution: Occurring east of the Cascades crest in Washington; Washington to southern California, east to the Rocky Mountains and northern Great Plains.

Habitat: Dry soil, from the plains into the canyons and slopes of the lower mountains.

Flowers: May-July

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Annual

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Bumblebees, bees


Finely pubescent annual, the stems 1-4 dm. tall, simple or freely-branched, single or several.


Leaves mostly alternate, scabrous and brittle, lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate, entire to wavy margined to deeply lobed; lower leaves short-petiolate, upper leaves sessile, bracteate leaves opposite.


Flowers irregularly cymose in compact clusters; calyx lobes 5, 2 mm. long; petals 5, distinct, yellow, 3-6 mm. long; stamens 15-35, shorter than the petals; style 1, ovary inferior.


Capsule linear, 1-3 cm. long, 1.5-2 mm. thick.

Accepted Name:
Mentzelia dispersa S. Watson
Publication: Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts 11: 115, 137. 1876.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Mentzelia dispersa S. Watson var. compacta (A. Nelson) J.F. Macbr. [KZ99]
Mentzelia dispersa S. Watson var. dispersa [KZ99]
Mentzelia dispersa S. Watson var. latifolia (Rydb.) J.F. Macbr. [KZ99]
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Mentzelia dispersa in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Mentzelia dispersa checklist entry

OregonFlora: Mentzelia dispersa information

E-Flora BC: Mentzelia dispersa atlas page

CalPhotos: Mentzelia dispersa photos

39 photographs:
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