Wyethia angustifolia

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Wyethia angustifolia, Family: Asteraceae, Mule’s ears, California Compass-plant Narrowleaf Wyethia


  • Kingdom Plantae – Plants
  • Subkingdom -Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
  • Superdivision - Spermatophyta – Seed plants
  • Division - Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
  • Class
  • Subclass
  • Order
  • Family
  • Genus
  • Species


General: Tap-rooted, leafy-stemmed perennial, the stems stout but lax, 2-9 dm. tall, the herbage covered with short, stiff, blunt hairs. Leaves: Leaves mostly entire, the basal ones enlarged, with narrow, elongate blades, 1.5-5 dm. long and 2.5-10 cm. wide, tapering at both ends; cauline leaves smaller and variable. Flowers: Heads usually solitary; involucral bracts lance-linear, in several series, herbaceous, with conspicuous hairs on the margins; rays 13-21, chrome-yellow, pistillate and fertile, 1.5-3.5 cm. long; disk flowers light yellow, perfect and fertile; receptacle broadly convex, chaffy throughout, the bracts clasping the achenes; pappus of petal-like appendages. Fruit: Achenes compressed-quadrangular

Bloom Period

  • Flowering time: April-July
  • Crop intervals: perennial


From the east edge of the Columbia Gorge to the confluence of the Willamette river, south through the Willamette Valley of Oregon to California.


  • The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained soil.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It cannot grow in the shade.It requires moist soil.
  • Meadows and moist, open hillsides at low elevations.


  • Raw stems used for food; seeds used for pinole (food) and dried for winter use; decoction of leaves used to reduces fever and induce perspiration; decoction of roots taken as an emetic; poultice of root lather used for lung problems and to draw blisters
  • The seed can be dried, ground into a powder and used as a thickener in soups or can be added to cereal flours when making bread etc. Young leaves can be eaten raw. A lemon-yellow dye is obtained from the flowers. A gold to brass dye is obtained from the flowers, leaves and stems.


Soak or stratify seed. Seeds should receive cool-moist stratification 90-120 days for proper germination


Sample From: 2010

Average Measurement: 7.6 x 2.5 x 2.2

Measurement Range: L: 7 - 8, W: 2 - 3, D: 1.9 - 2.5

Latitudinal Cross Section: circular Cerkal.png

Longitudinal Cross Section: elliptical Rede.png

Shape: Seed is long and narrow. Seed is narrow at hilum and broadens at opposite apex.

Additional Structures: Pappus that is attached at apex opposite hilum. Pappus fibers are broad at the base and are attached in a circular pattern. Pappus very brittle, and about ½ the length of the seed body.

Color: Hilum white, seed body medium brown, and pappus is tan to off-white.

Surface: Seed is matte with short bristles that are concentrated toward the pappus. Seed has many longitudinal ridges.

Basic Explanations and Assumptions:

The dimensions for the seeds are length x width x depth. The location of the hilum is used as the base of the seed, and the length is measured from hilum to the opposite apex. Where a style is present, the length is measured from the hilum to the bottom of the style. Width is measured at a right angle to the length at the widest part. Depth is measured at a right angle to the intersection of height and width lines.

Measurements included are the mean average for each measurement of ten separate seeds.

All measurements in millimeters unless otherwise noted.



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