Ten-petal blazingstar - Mentzelia decapetala
(see State Rank Reason below)
State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Widely, though sporadically distributed across Montana. Usually not abundant where found.
Usually biennial. Stems branched, 40–100 cm. Leaves lanceolate, sessile above, 4–15 cm long, deeply serrate. Flowers white with pectinate bracts adherent to the hypanthium, nocturnal; sepals 2–4 cm long; petals lanceolate, apparently 10 (5 are staminodes), 3–6 cm long. Capsule broadly cylindric, 2–4 cm long; seeds flattened, narrowly winged, horizontal in 3 to 5 columns (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX
AB to MB south to NM and TX (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
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(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
Sparsely vegetated, often gravelly soil of steep slopes, roadsides; plains, valleys (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX
The showy, slightly fragrant white flowers of Ten-petal Blazingstar open roughly an hour before sunset and close again before morning. In an urban population within Helena, Montana, known flower visitors include the Hunt's Bumble Bee (Bombus huntii
), White-bowed Smoothwing hoverfly (Scaeva affinis
), and White-lined Sphinx moth (Hyles lineata
) (Shane Sater, What's Going On Out There Blog
More generally, the bumble bees Bombus centralis
, Bombus fervidus
, Bombus huntii
, and Bombus pensylvanicus
have been reported as pollinators of this plant species or its genus (Thorp et al. 1983, Williams et al. 2014).INSECT TRAPPING
The foliage and floral bracts of Ten-petal Blazingstar are covered in stiff, barbed hairs that are capable of trapping soft-bodied invertebrates. In populations near Helena, Montana, preliminary observations indicate that these hairs have trapped and killed at least three species of flies and two species of moths. Meanwhile, certain other invertebrates, including spiders and weevils, are capable of navigating through the barbed hairs without getting stuck (Shane Sater, What's Going On Out There Blog
- Literature Cited AboveLegend: View Online Publication
- Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
- Thorp, R.W., D.S. Horning, and L.L. Dunning. 1983. Bumble bees and cuckoo bumble bees of California (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Bulletin of the California Insect Survey 23:1-79.
- Williams, P., R. Thorp, L. Richardson, and S. Colla. 2014. Bumble Bees of North America. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 208 p.
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
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- Anderson, N.L. 1951. Field studies on the biology of range grasshoppers of southeastern Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 96 p.
- DuBois, K.L. 1979. An inventory of the avifauna in the Long Pines of Southeastern Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 113 p.
- Fritzen, D.E. 1995. Ecology and behavior of Mule Deer on the Rosebud Coal Mine, Montana. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 143 p.
- King, L.A. 1980. Effects of topsoiling and other reclamation practices on nonseeded species establishment on surface mined land at Colstrip, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 129 p.
- Seipel, T.F. 2006. Plant species diversity in the sagebrush steppe of Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 87 p.
- Skilbred, Chester L. 1979. Plant succession on five naturally revegetated strip-mined deposits at Colstrip, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 128 pp.
- Wood, A.K. 1987. Ecology of a prairie mule deer population. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 205 p.