Plants with ground-level or subterranean caudices. Stems 5–25 cm. Leaves: petiole absent; blade ovate or obovate, to 45 × 35 mm, intersinus distance 2–4 mm. Pedicels 0(–1.5) mm. Flowers: petals yellow to orange, narrowly spatulate to obovate, 4.5–17 × 1.2–5 mm, apex rounded; stamens 25–45, 7–21 mm; styles 7–18 mm. Capsules 3–7 × 3–4.5 mm. Seeds 3–9 per capsule, edges prominently to inconspicuously ridged. 2n = 28.
Calif., Idaho, Nev.
Varieties 2 (2 in flora).
In the phylogenetic study by L. Hufford et al. (2003), Mentzelia torreyi was recovered as the sister to the rest of the genus.