E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Mentzelia laevicaulis var. parviflora (Hook.) Torr. & A. Gray (Douglas ex Hook.) C.L. Hitchc.
blazing-star (smoothstem blazingstar)
Loasaceae (Loasa family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Ryan Batten  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #25839)

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Distribution of Mentzelia laevicaulis var. parviflora
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Species Information

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Biennial or short-lived perennial herb from a deep taproot; stems ascending to erect, several, branched, angular, harshly barbed-hairy throughout but nearly glabrous near the bases, 0.3-1 m tall.
Basal leaves linear to shallowly lobed, 10-15 cm long; stem leaves alternate, unstalked, oblong to egg-shaped but less deeply lobed.
Inflorescence of numerous flowers in a compact terminal or axillary cluster; petals 5, lemon yellow, 2.5-8 cm long; calyces 1-2.5 mm long; stamens 2/3 the length of the petals; bracts linear.
Capsules, oblong, 1.5-3.5 cm long; seeds numerous, flattened, winged, greyish-green or brownish.
Two, sometimes difficult to separate, varieties are recognized in BC:

1. Petals at least 4-8 cm long; fruits usually over 2 cm long ...................var. laevicaulis

1. Petals 1.5-4 cm long; fruits usually less than 2 cm long...................... var. parviflora (Dougl. ex Hook.) C.L. Hitchc.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry slopes in the steppe and lower montane zones; frequent in SC BC; S to MT, UT and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Mentzelia brandegeei S. Wats.
Mentzelia douglasii H. St. John

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References