Wyethia glabra

Shining Mule Ears

Plant Type: Perennial
Sun: Partial Shade, Sun
Drainage: Adaptable
Water: Occasional
Height X Width: 2' X 3'
Santa Clara County Local: Yes
What do these mean?



California’s ten species of wyethia grace spring or early summer with some of our showiest sunflowers. Shining mule ears grows in the coastal mountains from Mendocino County south into San Luis Obispo County, but is especially common in the nine counties of the SF Bay Area. Following dormancy, which lasts from early summer to late winter, several wide lance shaped leaves arise from a deep tuber. The older the plant, the larger and more numerous the leaves. A mature specimen will display leaves long and wide enough to explain the common name of this group, mule ears. After several years the flowers begin to appear. In Santa Clara County blooming occurs in early spring. The flowers dry, often with dozens of edible seeds relished by a range of wildlife. This group is notoriously difficult to establish in the garden. A single deep watering after planting, heavy mulching, and summer dryness would be a good start.


Deer Resistant: No
Attractive to Bees: Yes
Attractive to Butterflies: Yes
Good Under Oaks: Yes
Evergreen or Deciduous: Deciduous