Nuttallia multicaulis
Author: (Osterhout) A. Nels. ex J. Darl.

Many-stem stickleaf

Loasaceae (Blazingstar Family)

Close up of Nuttallia multicaulis by Peggy Lyon
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Close up of Nuttallia multicaulis by Peggy Lyon
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Taxonomic Comments

= Mentzelia multicaulis. Holmgren and Holmgren (2002) split the full species into four varieties; M. multicaulis var. uintahensis, M. multicaulis var. librina, M. multicaulis var. flumensevera, and M. multicaulis var.multicaulis. Rio Blanco, Moffat, and Mesa county populations have been put in var. uintahensis. Eagle, Garfield, Grand and Summit county populations have been put in var. multicaulis (Ackerfield 2012). However, Weber and Wittmann (2012) do not recognize the varieties and the Colorado Natural Heritage Program tracks locations of the full species. Additionally, Weber and Whittmann (2012) only place one species in Mentzelia, M. oligosperma, which has orange flowers. The remaining species are split into Acrolasia for annuals and Nuttallia for perennial and biennial species.

Ranks and Status

Global rank: G3
State rank: S3
Federal protection status: None
State protection status: None

[+] Description and Phenology

Nuttallia multicaulis: no artwork available

General description:

Look Alikes: The plants are characterized by diffusely branched stems up to 3 dm tall, simple pinnatifid leaves with narrow lobes, and scarcely winged seeds (Thorne and Smith 1986).

Phenology: Plants produce flowers and fruit June-August (Colorado Natural Heritage Program 2012).

[+] Herbarium Photos

Images of Nuttallia multicaulis housed at the Colorado State University Herbarium.

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[+] Habitat

Habitat of Nuttallia multicaulis by Peggy Lyon
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Found on sparsely vegetated, white, grey, or black shale slopes (Ackerfield 2012, CNHP 2012). Associated taxa include Chrysothamnus, Artemisia, Atriplex, Amelanchier, Eriogonum, Astragalus, Cirsium, Heterotheca, Tetraneuris, Machaeranthera, Gutierrezia, Penstemon, Hilaria jamesii, Pseudoroegneria spicata, and Achnatherum hymenoides. Also found in pinyon-juniper woodlands (CNHP 2012).

Elevation Range: 4,751 - 9,846 feet (1,448 - 3,001 meters)

[+] Distribution

Distribution of Nuttallia multicaulis in Colorado according to mapped land ownership/management boundaries (CNHP 2012, COMaP v9 ).
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Distribution of Nuttallia multicaulis in Colorado
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Colorado endemic: No
Global range: Known from Uinta Basin, northeastern Utah (Welsh et al. 1993) and seven counties in west-northwest Colorado (CNHP 2012, Ackerfield 2012). Also reported from New Mexico (Heil and O'Kane 2005).
State range: Found in Eagle, Garfield, Grand, Mesa, Moffat, Rio Blanco, and Summit counties, though much of the documentation is historical.

[+] Threats and Management Issues

Threats include oil and gas development, roads, and off road vehicles (Colorado Natural Heritage Program 2012).

[+] References

    • Ackerfield, J. 2012. The Flora of Colorado. Colorado State University Herbarium. 433 pp.
    • Albee, B.J., L.M. Shultz, and S. Goodrich. 1988. Atlas of the vascular plants of Utah. Utah Museum Natural History Occasional Publication 7, Salt Lake City, Utah. 670 pp.
    • Colorado Natural Heritage Program. 2012. Biodiversity Tracking and Conservation System. Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO.
    • Goodrich, S., and E. Neese. 1986. Uinta Basin flora. U.S. Forest Service, Intermountain Region, Ogden, Utah. 320 pp.
    • Harrington, H.D. 1954. Manual of the plants of Colorado. Sage Press, Chicago. 666 pp.
    • Holmgren., N. H. and P. K. Holmgren. 2002. New Mentzelias (Loasaceae) from the Intermountain region of western United States. Systematic Botany 27(4): 747-762.
    • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
    • Kartesz, J.T. 1996. Species distribution data at state and province level for vascular plant taxa of the United States, Canada, and Greenland (accepted records), from unpublished data files at the North Carolina Botanical Garden, December, 1996.
    • Lavender, A.E., M.M. Fink, S.E. Linn, D.M. Theobald. 2011. Colorado Ownership, Management, and Protection v9 Database. Colorado Natural Heritage Program and Geospatial Centroid, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. (30 September).
    • NatureServe. 2008. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 6.2. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available (Accessed: 2008 ).
    • Sivinski, R. C. 1998. Review and resurrection of Mentzelia springeri (Losaceae). New Mexico Naturalist's Notes 1(2): 43-45.
    • Thorne, K. H. and F. J. Smith. 1986. New variety of Mentzelia multicaulis (Loasaceae) from the Book Cliffs of Utah. Western North American Naturalist, Vol 46, No. 3.
    • USDA, NRCS. 2013. The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.
    • Weber, W. A. and R. C. Wittmann. 2012. Colorado Flora, Western Slope, A Field Guide to the Vascular Plants, Fourth Edition. Boulder, Colorado. 532 pp.
    • Welsh, S.L., N.D. Atwood, S. Goodrich, and L.C. Higgins (eds.) 1993. A Utah flora. 2nd edition. Brigham Young Univ., Provo, Utah. 986 pp.

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