Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Mentzelia veatchiana, Veatch's Blazingstar

Veatch's Blazingstar or Whitestem Blazingstar has pretty medium size flowers, orange-yellow with red at the base of the petals. Note the stamens in the center of the flower, 20 to 50 per flower, each with a linear filament. Plants bloom from February to August. Mentzelia veatchianaVeatch's Blazingstar has 5 petals and 5 sepals, note the sepals are about ½ as long as the petals. Mentzelia veatchiana Veatch's Blazingstar has both lower (basal) and upper (cauline) leaves. Lower leaves are lobed while stem leaves are variable ranging from toothed, lobed or entire. Note whitish prominent mid-vein along lobed leaf. Mentzelia veatchiana Veatch's Blazingstar has a light or whitish pubescence on the stem and leaves resulting in the common names Whitestem Blazingstar and Whitestem Stickleaf. Plants are upright to about 16 inches or so. Mentzelia veatchiana

Scientific Name: Mentzelia veatchiana
Common Name: Veatch's Blazingstar
Also Called: Whitestem Blazingstar, Whitestem Stickleaf
Family: Loasaceae or Blazingstar Family
Synonyms: (Mentzelia albicaulis var. veatchiana, Mentzelia gracilenta var. veatchiana)
Status: Native
Duration: Annual
Size: Up to 16 inches more or less.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; plants erect, pubescent
Leaves: Green; sessile, narrowly elliptic to lanceolate; basal leaves lobed, cauline leaves variable, toothed, lobed or entire.
Flower Color: Orange, yellow, with red; flowers showy, cymose; sessile; 5 sepals, each about ½ as long as the petals; petals 5, ovate, base generally red to orange; stamens 20 to 50 each with linear filaments; fruit an erect or curved capsule.
Flowering Season: February to August; March to June in California.
Elevation: 3,500 to 6,800 feet.

Habitat Preferences: Sandy or loamy soils, deserts, plains, along washes, grassland, scrub and oak/pine woodland.

Recorded Range: Veatch's Blazingstar is relatively rare in the United States where it is found mostly in the southwestern United States; AZ, CA, NV, OR. This species is also native to Baja California and northwest Mexico.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Mentzelia veatchiana.

U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Wetland Indicator: No information available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No information available.

Genus Information: In North America there are 73 species and 73 accepted taxa overall Mentzelia. Worldwide, The Plant List includes 88 accepted species names and a further 52 of infraspecific rank for the genus.

In the southwestern United States: Arizona has 28 species of genus Mentzelia, California has 29 species, Nevada has 26 species, New Mexico has 20 species, Texas has 17 species, Utah has 21 species. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.

Comments: Mentzelia veatchiana inter grades with 4 species in Mentzelia making identification difficult.

In Southwest Desert Flora also see: Whitestem Blazingstar, Mentzelia albicaulis; Adonis Blazingstar, Mentzelia multiflora.

Mentzelia veatchiana has been used for several purposed by southwestern United States indigenous peoples.

  • Cahuilla Food, Porridge; Parched seeds ground into flour and used to make mush
  • Kawaiisu Drug, Burn Dressing; Pounded seeds made into a salve and rubbed on burned skin.
  • Kawaiisu Food, Preserves; Seeds parched and ground into a 'peanut butter' like substance.
  • Kawaiisu Food, Winter Use Food; Seeds stored for future use.

  • See complete listing of ethno-botanical uses at Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.

    Date Profile Completed: 04/13/2017, updated format 09/28/2017
    Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California, as Mentzelia albicaulis var. veatchiana.
    U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search - (accessed 04/12/2017)
    The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 04/12/2017).
    Christy, Charlotte M.. Loasaceae, Stickleaf or Blazing-Star Family. Journal of the Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science; Volume 30, page 106.
    Joshua M. Brokaw, John J. Schenk &; Barry Prigge 2017. Mentzelia veatchiana, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 12, 2017.
    SEINet synonyms, scientific names, geographic locations, general information - (accessed 04/12/2017).