TEN-PETAL MENTZELIA
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Mentzelia decapetala   (Pursh ) Urban & Gilg
Mitchell County, Kansas
Biennial or short-lived perennial
Height: 1-3 feet
Family: Loasaceae - Stickleaf Family
Flowering Period:   July, August, September
Also Called: Chalk lily, candleflower, evening starflower.
Stems: Erect, stout, 1 to several, branched above; bark whitish, peeling off lower portions of stem.
Leaves: Alternate, simple, short-stalked below, sessile above, lanceolate, 2 to 6 inches long, .5 to 1.5 inch wide, rough; margins toothed to wavy; tips tapering to points.
Inflorescences: Cyme-like, 1 or few-flowered, near branch tips; bracts pinnately cleft, some partially fused to ovary.
Flowers: Showy, 3 to 6 inches in diameter; sepals 5, 1/2 to 2 inches long, pointed; petals 10, white to creamy white, oblanceolate to spatulate, 1 to 3 inches long, 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide, often touch or overlap at flowering; tips pointed; stamens 200-300, shorter than petals.
Fruits: Capsules, cylindric, 3/4 to 2 inches long, 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide, dried sepals at top; seeds numerous, flattened, winged.
Habitat: Dry, rocky hillsides, steep banks and slopes, roadsides, disturbed areas, and rocky outcrops. Rarely found in sandy soils.
Distribution: West 3/5 of Kansas.
Toxicity: Plants accumulate selenium and can be mildly poisonous.
Forage Value: Livestock rarely eat ten-petal mentzelia but birds will consume the seeds.
Comments: The flowers open late in the afternoon and close during the night. Ten-petal mentzelia has a strong, deep taproot and will not withstand transplanting. The rough leaves can cling to clothing or hair.
 Resembles Upright mentzelia

Ten-petal mentzelia stamens
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Mitchell County, Kansas
Ten-petal mentzelia flower
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Mitchell County, Kansas
Ten-petal mentzelia
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Mitchell County, Kansas
Ten-petal mentzelia
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Mitchell County, Kansas
Ten-petal mentzelia
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Barber County, Kansas