Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

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

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Mentzelia multiflora, Adonis Blazingstar

Adonis Blazingstar has a beautiful showy yellow flower with usually 10 petals approximately 2 inches across. This species blooms from March to October across its large geographic range. Mentzelia multiflora Adonis Blazingstar or Adonis Blazing Star blooms late in the day and remains closed through the next morning. Note when bracts exist they are green; linear to lanceolate as in the photograph and generally entire. Note sepals are approximately ½ the size of the petals. Mentzelia multiflora Adonis Blazingstar has white stems as with many species of Mentzelia. Their leaves are green with the largest leaves lower in the basal area, upper leaves narrowly lanceolate and the margins are toothed, lobed or sometimes pinnatifid. Mentzelia multiflora Adonis Blazingstar fruits are dramatic looking cylindric capsules. Plants grow at elevations between 100 and 7,500 feet. Mentzelia multiflora Adonis Blazingstar; another view of the cylindric fruiting capsule; Adonis Blazingstar prefers open sunny areas in dry sandy well drained soils, gravel bars and roadsides. Preferred habitats are in desert Creosote-bush scrub communities. Mentzelia multiflora

Scientific Name: Mentzelia multiflora
Common Name: Adonis Blazingstar
Also Called: Stickleaf, Adonis Blazing Star, Adonis Stickleaf, Desert Blazingstar, Manyflowered Mentzelia, Prairie Stickleaf (Spanish: Pega-pega, Rama Pegajosa, Buena Mujer)
Family: Loasaceae or Blazingstar Family
Synonyms: ()
Status: Native
Duration: Biennial or perennial.
Size: Up to 2½ feet or more.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; erect, multiple branches along their entire length; stems shiny white, stems sticky hairy (barbed hairs).
Leaves: Green; basal leaves large, up to 6 inches long and just over 1 inch wide; leaves narrowly elliptic to lanceolate; margins toothed or lobed, sometimes pinnatifid; leaves variable, very narrow leaves approaching entire and upper leaves commonly with clasping bases or with clasping basal lobes.
Flower Color: Yellow, golden yellow, rarely white; showy up to 2 inches across; cymose inflorescence; flowers (pedicellate); usually with 10 petals that open late in the day and remained closed through the next morning; if present bracts are green and linear to lanceolate and generally entire; fruit a cylindric capsule.
Flowering Season: March to October; may flower year-round at lower elevations; March to June in California; April to August in Texas.
Elevation: 100 to 7,500 feet.

Habitat Preferences: Open sunny areas in dry, sandy well-drained soil, gravel bars, roadsides, creosote-bush scrub communities.

Recorded Range: Adonis Blazingstar is found in the southwest United State in AZ, CA, CO, NM, TX, UT and in NE, OK and WY. The largest populations occur in Arizona where it is found throughout most of the state. It is also native to northwest Mexico.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Mentzelia multiflora.

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 for 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.

3 varieties in Mentzelia multiflora;
Mentzelia multiflora var. integra, Adonis Blazingstar (AZ, NM, UT);
Mentzelia multiflora var. longiloba, Adonis Blazingstar (AZ, CA, UT);
Mentzelia multiflora var. multiflora, Adonis Blazingstar (Recorded Range above).

Comments: Adonis Blazingstar is common in Arizona where it is found in relatively lower elevations. The leaves are covered with fine minutely barbed hairs which quickly stick to your clothes. There are many species in Mentzelia in North America and they are difficult to identify.

Adonis Blazingstar is cultivated as a landscape plant in some areas.

Also see in Southwest Desert Flora, Whitestem Blazingstar, Mentzelia albicaulis and Veatch's Blazingstar, Mentzelia veatchiana.

Mentzelia multiflora has been used for a variety of medicinal purposes by southwestern United States indigenous peoples.

  • Keres, Western Drug, Diuretic; Infusion of plant used as a diuretic.
  • Keres, Western Drug, Psychological Aid; Plants used to make infants good horseback riders. Plants used to whip three or four month old infants, or ground leaves rubbed on their thighs so that they will become good horseback riders when they grow up.
  • Navajo Other, Ceremonial Items; Leaves chewed and sprayed with the mouth on offerings before and after making prayersticks.
  • Navajo, Kayenta Drug, Ceremonial Medicine; Plant used as fumigant for collared lizard ceremony.
  • Navajo, Ramah Drug, Eye Medicine; Infusion of flowers used as an eyewash.
  • Navajo, Ramah Food, Staple; Seeds parched with hot coals in an old basket, ground lightly with a special rock.

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

    Date Profile Completed: 11/14/2015, 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 pumila.
    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., Journal of AZ-NV academy of Science; Loasaceae, Stickleaf or Blazing-Star Family. Journal of the Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science; Volume 30, page 103.
    Wikipedia contributors, 'Mentzelia multiflora', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 27 February 2017, 09:17 UTC, [accessed 14 April 2017]
    Native Plant Information Network, NPIN (2013). Published on the Internet [accessed: 04/14/2017]. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas, Austin, TX.
    SEINet for synonyms, scientific names, recorded geographic locations and general information; (accessed 04/14/2017).