Mentzelia packardiae

Common Names:
Packard's mentzelia, Packard's stickleaf
Growth Habit:
CPC Number:
Profile Contributors:
Edward Guerrant, Ph.D.
Fully Sponsored

Reference Links

ITIS - Tropicos - USDA Plants - Fish & WildLife

Participating Institutions

The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
Rae Selling Berry Seed Bank & Plant Conservation Programs
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

The conservation of Mentzelia packardiae is fully sponsored.
Edward Guerrant, Ph.D. contributed to this Plant Profile.


Packard's mentzelia makes its way in the harsh, dry, desolate areas of eastern Oregon and northern Nevada. Each spring, seeds germinate in otherwise almost completely barren, dry, ashy soils that have extremely high levels of potassium. Harsh conditions for any plant; but Mentzelia packardiae is able to extract sufficient water from the arid soil, allowing it to thrive where other plants cannot. This annual plant produces large, yellow flowers from early May until mid-June. Seeds set, and then the plant dies.

The discovery of Mentzelia packardiae is a story fortuitous tale. Judith Glad began her career as a Science Fiction writer. However, time and time again, her stories were rejected for being too romantic. Frustrated and looking for a change, she returned to school to pursue a Master's degree in Botany. While a graduate student at Oregon State University, Glad discovered two species unknown to science, Packard's mentzelia (Mentzelia packardiae) and Thompson's mentzelia (Mentzelia thompsonii). Glad returned to writing and is now both a successful romance novelist and an ecological consultant. Hopefully, the fate of the rare plant that she discovered will be as happy. Habitat protection through the creation of the Leslie Gulch ACEC (Area of Critical Environmental Concern) is helping to ensure that.

Distribution & Occurrence


Conservation, Ecology & Research