Mentzelia involucrata S. Watson

Sand Blazing Star
Loasaceae (Loasa Family)


Sand blazing star is an erect-stemmed, much-branched annual growing to about 16" or so tall and having herbage that is rough or scratchy to the touch .  The 5"-long alternate, lanceolate leaves are lobed or deeply and irregularly dentate.  The solitary showy flowers are terminal on the ends of stiff-haired stems and are subtended by white, papery bracts which are green and laciniate.  The satiny petals are 1/2" to 1-1/4" long, cream-yellow with orange to pinkish veins and a reddish blotch at the base, wide toward the apex and mucronate-tipped.  The numerous stamens may be an inch long and the filaments are flattened and two-toothed at the tip.  Sand blazing star is a common desert plant below 4500' and blooms from February to April.  It may be found on roadsides, fans, sandy washes, and rocky slopes in creosote bush scrub communities on both the Mojave and Colorado Deserts.  These pictures were taken in the Mecca Hills.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Mentzelia 2) involucrata.
Pronunciation: ment-ZEE-lee-a in-vol-yoo-KRAY-ta.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.


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