Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
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Mentzelia tricuspis

Higher Taxonomy
Family: LoasaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual to subshrub; hairs needle-like, barbed, occasionally stinging. Leaf: alternate [opposite], generally +- pinnate-lobed; stipules 0. Inflorescence: cyme, raceme. Flower: bisexual, radial; sepals generally 5, generally persistent; petals generally 5, free or fused to each other or filament tube; stamens 5--many, filaments thread-like to flat, occasionally fused at base or in clusters; petal-like staminodes occasionally present; pistil 1, ovary inferior, chamber generally 1, placentas generally 3, parietal, style 1. Fruit: capsule or achene. Seed: 1--many.
Genera In Family: 18+ genera, 250 species: especially America (Africa, Pacific).
eFlora Treatment Author: Larry Hufford & Barry Prigge, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: MentzeliaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual to perennial herb; hairs barbed to needle-like, not stinging; stems pale pink or generally +- white, branched or not. Leaf: linear to ovate, entire to pinnate-lobed; basal in rosettes, generally petioled; cauline generally sessile, +- reduced distally on stem. Inflorescence: generally cyme (or flower 1); bracts green to white, margin green. Flower: sepals lanceolate to deltate, persistent; petals generally 5, free, white to yellow or orange; stamens generally many, +- free, generally unequal, inner filaments generally thread-like; outermost stamens opposite sepal lobes generally modified, +- widened, or petal-like with anther or not; ovary generally cylindric, placentas generally 3, style thread-like, stigma 3-furrowed or -lobed. Fruit: capsule, cup-, barrel-, or urn-shaped to narrowly cylindric, occasionally curved. Seed: generally many, shape variable.
Species In Genus: +- 100 species: western North America, +- tropical America.
eFlora Treatment Author: Joshua M. Brokaw, John J. Schenk & Barry Prigge

Mentzelia tricuspis A. Gray
Habit: Annual 5--27 cm. Stem: erect, hairy. Leaf: sessile to petioled, 2--12 cm, lanceolate to ovate, wavy to toothed. Inflorescence: bracts lanceolate to widely ovate, sessile, 2--8-toothed, green, base +- green. Flower: sepals 7--17 mm; petals 11--30(50) mm, widely obovate, +- white to pale yellow, tip mucronate; stamens 7--17 mm, filaments +- broadened, 2-lobed distally, anther stalk between lobes thin, generally < lobes; style 10--12 mm. Fruit: erect to reflexed, 9--18 mm, 5--8 mm wide, cylindric to barrel-shaped. Seed: 2--2.5 mm, +- compressed, narrowed at middle, beaked, ashy-white. Chromosomes: 2n=20.
Ecology: Sandy or gravelly slopes or washes in creosote-bush scrub; Elevation: 150--1280 m. Bioregional Distribution: s DMoj, sw DSon; Distribution Outside California: to Utah, Arizona. Flowering Time: Mar--May
eFlora Treatment Author: Joshua M. Brokaw, John J. Schenk & Barry Prigge
Jepson Online Interchange
Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

Previous taxon: Mentzelia torreyi
Next taxon: Mentzelia tridentata

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botanical illustration including Mentzelia tricuspis


Citation for this treatment: Joshua M. Brokaw, John J. Schenk & Barry Prigge 2016. Mentzelia tricuspis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 03, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 03, 2016.

Mentzelia tricuspis
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© 2010 James M. Andre
Mentzelia tricuspis
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© 2005 James M. Andre
Mentzelia tricuspis
click for enlargement
© 2010 James M. Andre
Mentzelia tricuspis
click for enlargement
© 2010 Neal Kramer
Mentzelia tricuspis
click for enlargement
© 2004 James M. Andre
Mentzelia tricuspis
click for enlargement
© 2010 Neal Kramer

More photos of Mentzelia tricuspis in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Mentzelia tricuspis:
s DMoj, sw DSon;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.