Blazing star is an erect perennial growing 3'-4'
tall, branching from the upper portion of the stem, and with rough hairy
foliage. It is one of the most spectacular blooms we have in southern
California and is usually seen growing in very rocky and apparently
inhospitable places. The stems are mostly whitish-shining. There
is a basal rosette of lanceolate, shallowly-to-deeply pinnately-lobed,
rough-sandpapery leaves 4" to 12" long, and the cauline leaves
are alternate, ovate to lanceolate, shorter and pinnatifid. The flowers
are large and showy in terminal clusters of 1-3 with five lanceolate,
pale green sepals to 1-1/2" long and five light yellow petals to
3" long. There are numerous stamens ± equal in length
from 1"-2" with the outer filaments broadened to about 1/16"
wide, and a style which often exceeds the length of the stamens. The
fruit is a straight cylindrical capsule, almost 2" long, with light
brown, obovate seeds that have an slightly granular surface. Blazing
star blooms from June to October in a variety of plant communities mostly
away from the coast throughout California to an elevation of some 8000'.
These pictures were taken along the Angeles Crest Highway in the San
Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Mentzelia
Pronunciation: ment-ZEE-lee-a lee-vi-KAW-lis.
Click here for Botanical