Mentzelia multiflora

Many Flowered Blazingstar - Mentzelia multiflora
Ready Pay Gulch
East of Hillsboro, NM, USA
March 21, 2017

Mentzelia multiflora goes by several English Common Names including Many Flowered Blazingstar, Adonis Blazingstar, Many-flowered Western Star, Blazingstar, Prairie Stickleaf, and locally as Corsage Flower (this because the two types of hairs which are found on the leaves cause the plant to adhere to clothing).

Three varieties are recognized in the United States by the U. S. D. A., M. m. var longiloba, M. m. var. integra, and M. m. multiflora.  The latter two varieties are found in New Mexico.  BONAP recognizes each of the varieties as a full species and gives a different range for each.  The BONAP map to the right shows the United States range for this species (or nominate form of the USDA listing).  Light green indicates that the species is native to and not rare within the county  indicated.  Its range in Mexico is unclear to me, although records exist for Chihuahua, Nuevo León, and Sonora.

There are several scientific synonyms for this species including Bartonia multiflora, Mentzelia lutea, Mentzelia pumila var. multiflora and var. lagorosa, Touterea multiflora, and Nuttallia multiflora.  But that does not tell half the story, to quote Flora of North America:

Mentzelia multiflora has been considered one of the most widespread species in sect. Bartonia, a result of treating the species as a "garbage bin" for populations that lack features characteristic of more specialized species. The phylogenetic study by J. J. Schenk and L. Hufford (2011) showed that populations consistent with the type of M. multiflora are centered in the southern Rocky Mountains, especially along their eastern front, and the species notably does not occur in Arizona, California, Nevada, or Utah, in which it regularly has been described in regional floras. In the intermountain region, many specimens previously determined as M. multiflora are M. longiloba. In southeastern New Mexico and Texas, many specimens previously determined as M. multiflora are likely to be M. procera or M. longiloba var. chihuahuaensis.”

Given the above, consider the range map shown, and linked to, with caution.

The specimen sheet shown below is from the Mexican Boundary Survey under the direction of W. H. Emory.



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© Robert Barnes 2018