Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Stanleya pinnata

Desert princes' plume, Golden princes' plume, Golden desert plume, Sentinel of the plains

Brassicaceae (Mustard Family)

Stanleya pinnata (Desert princes' plume)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Golden prince’s-plume is a graceful, desert perennial. Its leaves are mostly basal on low, branched, sub-woody crowns. The towering flowering stalks are 5-6 ft. tall and bear racemes of bright-yellow flowers. The flowers are reminiscent of cleomes or spider flowers. Stem leaves are lance-shaped and pinnately divided. Slender wands of yellow flowers top tall, stout, smooth, bluish-green, leafy stems.

This is a conspicuous and beautiful wildflower in the arid West, its flowers generally standing above any nearby shrubs. All other species have yellow flowers without hairs except White Desert Plume (S. albescens), which has hairs on the inside of its white petals. It occurs from northeastern Arizona to west-central Colorado and northwestern New Mexico.

The genus was named in honor of Lord Edward Stanley, a former President of the Linnean Society. The species pinnata describes the feathery appearance of the lower leaves.

Image Gallery:

11 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Class: 3-6 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep


USA: AZ , CA , CO , ID , KS , MT , NE , NV , NM , ND , OR , SD , TX , UT , WY
Native Distribution: ND to ID, s. to w. TX, s.e. CA, and Chihuahua in Mexico
Native Habitat: Dry, stony slopes & washes

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Description: Stony or sandy soils.
Conditions Comments: Not Available

Last Update: 2015-12-21