Annual herb from a taproot; stems ascending to erect, several, simple or branched, white-shiny, usually somewhat barbed throughout, sometimes becoming glabrous, 10-40 cm tall.
Basal leaves linear to shallowly lobed, 2-11 cm long; stem leaves alternate, often pinnatifid, linear to lanceolate, 2-11 cm long, lobed or unlobed, unstalked and entire to few-toothed above.
Inflorescence of few, unstalked flowers in a tight, terminal cluster; petals 5, yellow, 3-6 mm long; calyces 1-2 cm long, hairy, the lobes 2-4 mm long; stamens shorter than the petals; bracts egg-shaped.
Capsules, linear, 1-3 cm long; seeds 15-30, obscurely rough-pimply, appearing glabrous under 10x magnification, not flattened.
If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.
Illustration Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia
||Value / Class
Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
of field plots
species was recorded in:
BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in
Source: Klinkenberg 2013
1. Plants biennials or perennials; seeds flattened...........................M. laevicaulis
1. Plants annuals; seeds not flattened.
2. Basal leaves linear to shallowly lobed; seeds obscurely rough-pimply and apparently smooth 10X magnification; flower bracts mostly egg-shaped to narrowly egg-shaped; inflorescence congested............................M. dispersa
2. Basal leaves oblanceolate, deeply pinnatifid with deeply notched lobes; seeds conspicuously rough-pimply under 10X magnification; flower bracts narrowly to broadly lanceolate; inflorescence not congested.......................M. albicaulis
Source: Illustrated Flora of British Columbia