Desert Prince’s Plume
Stanleya pinnata (Pursh) Britt.
This native plant can form a striking clump of bright-yellow flower plumes in extremely arid sites and in the nastiest soils. It is found in most of Wyoming and prefers barren hills and flats with selenium-rich soils. Because desert prince’s plume concentrates selenium in its tissues, it can be toxic to livestock. In some locations, plants may be short-lived, but moderate reseeding does occur. Though available only from select nurseries, prince’s plume is easy to propagate from purchased seed.
Water needs: low
Exposure: full sun
Availability in nurseries: uncommon, but easy to start from seed
Native range: western U.S., excluding OR (WY native)
Plant family: Brassicaceae
Photo by Jennifer Thompson