Plant: Annual herb; 18-25 cm tall Leaves: 2-4 cm long, 1.5-3 cm wide; petiole 0.5-1 cm long; blade broadly ovate, with two large teeth near base; uppermost leaves sublanceolate INFLORESCENCE: cymose Flowers: with pedicel 1-2(-7) mm long; petals orange, 4-15 mm long, 2-6 mm wide, with trichomes mostly at apex; staminodia 0; stamens all with linear filaments; style 3-9 mm long Fruit: capsules cylindric, erect; body 7-15 mm long. SEEDS 7-12, pendulous, not winged, blocky in outline except for the protruding hilum end; testa cells elongate, the surface striate Misc: Rocky slopes; 1500-2150 m (5000-7000 ft); Aug-Oct REFERENCES: Christy, Charlotte M. 1998. Loasaceae. J. Ariz. - Nev. Acad. Sci. 30(2): 96.
Christy 1998, Kearney and Peebles 1969, McDougall 1973
Duration: Annual Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Annual with slender stems, not white, stems and capsules covered with stiff, glochidate hairs, hairs of the vegetation cause the plant to stick to clothing, although the hairs are not stinging. Leaves: Blades sessile, scabrous, thin, deep green, lanceolate to to ovate, irregularly dentate to lobed, 2-3 cm long, 1.5-3 cm wide, often at least twice as long as wide, borne on short petioles 0.5-1 cm long. Flowers: Orange-yellow, in cymose clusters, petals to 6-10 mm long, stamens shorter than the petals. Fruits: Capsules cylindric, 7-15 mm long, seeds blocky with protruding hilum, surface striate. Ecology: Found on limestone and sandy soils, on slopes and mesas, usually among shrubs, from 4,000-6,000 ft (1219-1829 m); flowering August-October. Notes: Look to the orange flowers of this species to help identify it, along with the stems that are not white, and the striated seeds. Ethnobotany: There is no specific use of the species recorded, but the genus was used as a food source, the seeds were ground, parbroiled, or parched and stored for later use. Etymology: Mentzelia is named for Christian Mentzel or Christianus Mentzelius (1622-1701), a 17th century German botanist, while affinis means bordering on or related or similar to. Synonyms: None Editor: LCrumbacher, 2011