whitestem blazingstar, more...
[Acrolasia albicaulis (Dougl. ex Hook.) Rydb., more]
Plant: Annual herb; STEMS to 45 cm tall Leaves: to 15 cm long, sessile, narrowly elliptic to lanceolate; margins mostly lobed, often with teeth in the sinuses. BRACTS narrowly lanceolate to ovate, green, sometimes with faintly whitish bases, mostly not on ovary; margins entire or few-toothed INFLORESCENCE: cymose Flowers: sessile; petals yellow, 2-5 mm long; staminodia 0; stamens ca. 15-30, all with linear filaments; style 2-4 mm long Fruit: capsules clavate, often long-tapering to base; base not woody; body 8-28 mm long, straight or arched less than 180 degrees. SEEDS pendulous, not winged, those in upper half of capsule grain-like, several-faceted, irregular in cross-section, the angles sharp; testa cells with straight adjoining walls, the surface walls pointed-papillate Misc: Upper elevations of warm deserts to chaparral and Great Basin Desert on a variety of soil types; 300-2250 m (1000-7400 ft); Feb-Jun References: Charlotte Christy - Loasaceae - JANAS 30:96-111. ASU Specimens.
Duration: Annual Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Annuals with sticky leaves, stems to 45 cm tall. Leaves: Sticky surface due to barbed hairs; sessile, narrowly elliptic to lanceolate; margins lobed often with teeth in the sinuses; up to 15 cm long. Flowers: Sessile; petals yellow, 2-5 mm long; 15-30 stamens; style 2-3 mm long. Fruits: Capsules club-shaped (widens toward tip and often long-tapering to base); 8-28 mm long; Seeds hang down, not winged, grain-like seeds in upper half of capsule. Ecology: Found in dry places from 1,000-7,500 ft (305-2286 m); flowers February-June. Distribution: Most of western N. Amer. from Saskatchewan and B.C., south to CA and west to TX, NE, SD; south to n MEX. Notes: Distinguished by being an annual with whitish stems with short hairs; consistently deeply pinnately lobed leaves, at times with shallowly lobed leaves above; yellow petals 1-6 mm long; entire, non-lacinate bracts below ovaries rarely with whitish bases; and fruits more than 5 times as long as wide, arched and tapering at least at the base. Ethnobotany: Gosiute rub seeds on burned skin. Hopi use plant for toothaches. Navajo use leaf concoction for snakebites. Numerous tribes use seed flour as staple for gravy, bread porridge, etc. Etymology: Mentzelia named for Christian Mentzel (1622-1701), a 17th century German botanist, botanical author and physician. Albicaulis translates to whitish-stem. Synonyms: Acrolasia albicaulis, Mentzelia montana, Mentzelia gracilis, Mentzelia mojavensis Editor: SBuckley 2010, FSCoburn 2015