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

Mentzelia laevicaulis (Hook.) Torr. & A. Gray
blazing-star (blazing-star mentzelia; smoothstem blazingstar)
Loasaceae (Loasa family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Thayne Tuason  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #76376)

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Distribution of Mentzelia laevicaulis
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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


Ecological Framework for Mentzelia laevicaulis

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 411 597 784
Slope Gradient (%) 65 67 70
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
188 214 240
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 1 2
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BG(1), PP(1)


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.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References