Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Mentzelia laevicaulis
giant blazing-star

Distribution: Occurring chiefly east of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to California, east to Montana and Wyoming.

Habitat: Dry, often rocky or gravelly soil, desert valleys to lower mountains.

Flowers: July-September

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Biennial, Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Bumblebees, bees


Biennial or short-lived perennial from a deep taproot, the stem 3-10 dm. tall, single and branched, but often appearing multi-stemmed when branched near the base; harshly scabrid-pubescent.


Leaves alternate, the lower ones oblanceolate, with slender petioles, deeply pinnatifid, the lobes often angled backward, up to 15 cm. long; upper leaves sessile, oblong to ovate-oblong, more shallowly lobed.


Flowers solitary and terminal on branch ends and often in the upper leaf axils, each subtended by 1-several entire or few-toothed bracts; calyx lobes 5, linear, 1.5 -4 cm. long; petals 5, lemon yellow, 2.5-8 cm. long, narrowly oblong or oblong-lanceolate; stamens very numerous, 2/3 the length of the petals, the 5 outer ones without anthers, much widened and petaloid, alternate with the petals; style 1, stigma 3-4 mm., ovary inferior, 1-celled.


Capsule 1.5-3.5 cm. long.

Accepted Name:
Mentzelia laevicaulis (Douglas) Torr. & A. Gray
Publication: Fl. N. Amer. (Torr. & A. Gray) 1(3): 535. 1840.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Nuttallia laevicaulis (Douglas) Greene
Additional Resources:

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

WA Flora Checklist: Mentzelia laevicaulis checklist entry

OregonFlora: Mentzelia laevicaulis information

E-Flora BC: Mentzelia laevicaulis atlas page

CalPhotos: Mentzelia laevicaulis photos

70 photographs:
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