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Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

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Wyethia angustifolia

Wyethia angustifolia (DC.) Nutt.

California Compassplant, California-compassplant, Narrowleaf Mule Ears

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

Synonym(s): Wyethia angustifolia var. foliosa


USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Basal clumps of bright-green, narrow, tongue-shaped leaves, 1-2 ft. long subtend the 1 ft. flower stalks of this showy perennial. Large, showy, sunflower-like heads occur on the stalk. Thick, creeping, aromatic rhizomes increase the size of the colony each year.


From the Image Gallery

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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

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


Native Distribution: Cismontane CA from Tulare & San Luis Obispo Cos., n. to WA
Native Habitat: Open, grassy slopes; moist, open hillsides

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Description: Variable with occasional summer moisture.
Conditions Comments: Mule ears is fall dormant. Old dead flower heads can be cut off unless the edible seed is desired.


Description: Use treated seed.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Soak or stratify seed. Seeds should receive cool-moist stratification 90-120 days for proper germination.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Additional resources

USDA: Find Wyethia angustifolia in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Wyethia angustifolia in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Wyethia angustifolia


Record Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff

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