Plant ID forum: Mystery wildflower in Idaho

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Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
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Natalie
Aug 28, 2013 12:54 PM CST
This plant is growing in a very rocky area, with water provided only by Mother Nature. I missed what I believe was the actual bloom, since I was out of state at the time. It is about 3 feet tall, and the flowers look like they were about 3 inches long. Any help would be most appreciated!

Thumb of 2013-08-28/Natalie/bdc491
Thumb of 2013-08-28/Natalie/b6a6ad
Natalie
Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Plant Identifier Region: Nebraska Forum moderator
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KentPfeiffer
Aug 28, 2013 1:13 PM CST

Moderator

It's a Mentzelia of some sort, but I'm not sure which species. Might be Whitestem Mentzelia (Mentzelia albicaulis)?

http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=MEAL6#
Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Plant Identifier Region: Nebraska Forum moderator
Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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KentPfeiffer
Aug 28, 2013 1:17 PM CST

Moderator

Maybe Smoothstem Mentzelia (Mentzelia laevicaulis) is a closer match?

http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=MELA2

I don't know the genus well enough to be able to say with any certainty which species it is. Sad
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Aug 28, 2013 1:31 PM CST
Does it have dodder on it?
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Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Aug 28, 2013 1:37 PM CST
Thanks Kent! That's close enough for me!

Tiffany, I have no idea what dodder is!
Natalie
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Aug 28, 2013 1:48 PM CST
Kent, I just checked the links, and I think the second one looks exactly like this one. I was originally hoping that it was something amazing that I'd like to grow on my property, but now I'm not so sure about that! Maybe I should wait until next year when I can get a better idea of what the flowers really look like in person. The pictures on the site that you posted the link for are very nice, but it's a bit messy looking when they are done blooming, as my pictures show. Maybe I can find a corner around here somewhere to stick them in until I make up my mind! Thanks so much for your help!

I love love love that iris in your picture! Lovey dubby Drooling
Natalie
Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Plant Identifier Region: Nebraska Forum moderator
Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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KentPfeiffer
Aug 28, 2013 1:56 PM CST

Moderator

Dodder is a parasitic plant that often sort of looks like someone tossed a pile of florescent orange weedwacker string on top of some other plants. The stringy-looking things in your last picture resemble young stems of dodder, but I think they are actually stamens that have fallen from the flowers and become entangled in the leaves. Most species of Mentzelia have extremely long stamens (giving rise to one of their common names, Blazing Star) and leaves that are somewhat sticky (giving rise to another common name for plants in the genus, Stickleaf).

You haven't missed the flowers, by the way, I can see a number of flowers that haven't opened yet in your pictures. Mentzelia flowers open in the evening and close shortly after the sun comes up in the morning, especially on warm days, so if you want to see them in their full glory you need to look at them near sunset or sunrise. Or, if you have a bright full moon, they are pretty spectacular to see at night.
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Aug 28, 2013 9:08 PM CST
Wow! Learned something new today! Or two somethings! I'm pretty sure that the orange stuff was part of the flower, but I'll get a better look next time, just to be sure. It was a strange looking mess! I'll also check the leaves to see if they are sticky.

I'd like to say that I'm up before the sun, but it seems like the sun rises here well before 5:00 am! I'm usually up by 6:00 though, so maybe they will still be open. If not, I can take a look around sunset tomorrow. I wish I had known what this was last week because of the amazing full moon we had! It almost kept me up at night because it was so bright!

Thanks for all the great information!
Natalie

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