The Sonoran Desert Florilegium

plants of the florilegium

Mentzelia multiflora
Blazing star

FAMILY:  Loasaceae— Stickleaf family

OTHER COMMON NAMES:  Adonis blazing star, Desert stickleaf

ETYMOLOGY:  The genus Mentzelia was named by Charles Plumier (1646 – 1704), a botanist and Franciscan monk, to honor Christian Mentzel (1622-1701), the German botanist and physician.

The plant's Latin epithet multiflora means 'many-flowered'.

DESCRIPTION:  The bright yellow 2" flowers of the blazing star are pollinated by several species of solitary bees. They open in the late afternoon and close around sunset. The flowers appear to have ten petals but actually have only five because the outermost row of stamens mimic the petals. As a member of the Stickleaf Family, it has the characteristic fine-hooked hairs on the surfaces of its stems and leaves that cling to fabric like Velcro.

Blazing star is found in many different habitats at elevations below 8,000'.