Bushy Blazingstar (Dispersa)

The Bushy Blazingstar (Dispersa) is generally described as an annual forb/herb. This is native to the U.S. (United States) .

Uses of : Landscaping, Medicinal, Culinary, etc.

Ethnobotanic: The seeds of Nevada stickleaf are relished by the Washoe, Utah Southern Paiute, Western Shoshone, and the Kawaiisu--tribes of California and the Great Basin. Its rich flavor is reputed to taste like peanut butter. It is gathered when the seed is ripe and the plants have begun to die back in June, July, or early August depending upon elevation. If the plants are still green, it is too early to harvest. Traditionally, the plant was beaten with a seedbeater and the seeds dropped into a seed-gathering basket. Today the plant is tapped with a flat stick and the seeds drop into a pan or on a cloth that is laid under the plant. The plant can also be uprooted and shaken and beaten onto a canvas tarp. The seeds are winnowed to remove the chaff. A gentle breeze makes a good seed cleaning wind.

Today the seeds are placed into a frying pan and lightly roasted on the stove, emitting an aroma not unlike peanut butter. In former times, the seeds were parched with live coals skillfully shaken in a flat basket tray. Next the seeds are ground on a portable metate into a very fine powder. The flour can then be rolled into balls and eaten. Among the Washoe, the flour is mixed with a little wheat flour and water is added, then the mixture is cooked and made into a rich soup similar in consistency to gravy. It is then eaten with cooked meat. In former times, dahal soup was often shared among the Washoe during storytelling events. The seed of some Mentzelia species are eaten by the Gambel quail (Lophortyx gambelii) in the Southwest U.S.

General Characteristics

General: Loasa Family (Loasaceae). This annual plant reaches 4 dm. in height and it grows up to 2,500-m. elevation. The small yellow flowers have a basal orange spot and the petals are 2-4 mm. long. The capsules produce grain-like, greyish-black seeds. The leaves are sticky and vary from having entire edges to small teeth. When looking across a landscape, the white stems are easy to spot in the sunlight.

Required Growing Conditions

For current distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site. It ranges from California, north to Washington, and east to the Rocky Mountains and south into New Mexico.

Cultivation and Care

Adaptation: Acre upon acre of this plant germinates in sagebrush scrub after fire. It is an early successional species, one of the first to colonize burn sites, and then it disappears after several years. The plant grows in many plant community types.

General: Nevada stickleaf may be grown from seed planted into an area with full sunlight in November, in a well-drained gravely to sandy soil and prior to the rainy season. A screen should be placed over the planted area, to keep the birds out. If the precipitation is late, water the area. In between rains, keep the area watered during the growing period.

General Upkeep and Control

With urban development the plant disappears. Prescribed burns could be conducted on various open sites to heighten production of this plant and facilitate the continuance of this remarkable tradition. MOAL"Mulberries have brittle roots and need to be handled with care when being planted. Pruning should be done in the winter when the plant is fully dormant. Only badly placed branches or dead wood should be removed during pruning. Mulberries are bleeders and should not be cut when the sap is flowing.

Different mulberry trees vary in fruit production. Sericulture is the most important commercial use for white mulberry. Young, fully developed leaves are best for feeding silkworm larvae. White mulberry can become weed trees as fruits are distributed by birds and other wildlife (Dirr 1997).

Control Please contact your local agricultural extension specialist or county weed specialist to learn what works best in your area and how to use it safely. Always read label and safety instructions for each control method. Trade names and control measures appear in this document only to provide specific information. USDA NRCS does not guarantee or warranty the products and control methods named, and other products may be equally effective. "

Plant Basics
General Type Forb/herb
Growth Duration Annual
Plant Nativity Native to U.S.

Source: USDA, NRCS, PLANTS Database, plants.usda.gov.
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA