Mentzelia pumila

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Mentzelia pumila
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Cornales
Family: Loasaceae
Genus: Mentzelia
Species: M. pumila
Binomial name
Mentzelia pumila
Nutt. ex. Torr. & A. Gray

Mentzelia pumila, (dwarf mentzelia, desert blazing star, blazing star, bullet stickleaf, golden blazing star,[1] yellow mentzelia, evening star, moonflower, Wyoming stickleaf,[1] etc.) is a biennial wildflower found in the western United States and northwestern Mexico from Montana and North Dakota, south to Sonora and Chihuahua. It is a blazingstar and is a member of the Mentzelia genus, the stickleafs; member species are also called "evening stars", but some stickleafs close at sunset, as does M. pumila.

Leaves of Mentzelia pumila are long, very narrow, and serrated-pinnate-like; also medium to light grayish green; an individual plant in an opportune site can be 1.5-2.5 feet (1 m) in height. The flowers are a bright, glossy medium yellow, and the major petals are variable, sometimes 5 major, 5 minor; also 4 and 4.

Mentzelia pumila is covered in minute elaborations known as trichomes, which pierce and trap insects that land on it. A species of aphid, Macrosyphum mentzeliae colonises the plant and is afforded protection, since its main predator, the ladybird beetle, is unable to avoid the trichomes. [2]


The root is a laxative.[3] The Zuni people insert this plant into the rectum as a suppository for constipation.[4] The plant is also used to whip children to make them strong so they could hold on to a horse without falling.[5]


  1. ^ a b "USDA GRIN Taxonomy". Retrieved 5 September 2014. 
  2. ^ Eisner, Thomas (2003). For Love of Insects. Harvard University Press. pp. 299–304. ISBN 0-674-01827-3. 
  3. ^ Archived from the original on January 17, 2009. Retrieved February 18, 2010.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ Stevenson, Matilda Coxe 1915 Ethnobotany of the Zuni Indians. SI-BAE Annual Report #30 (p. 57)
  5. ^ Stevenson, p.84


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