Flower Guide

Initially this guide displays common flowers of all colors that are blooming right now in our area. Use the selectors to view rare species, to view flowers blooming any time, to restrict the output to a certain color, or to search by name.

The Jemez Mountain Herbarium located at PEEC has a specimen collection of over 1,000 plant species that are found in the Jemez Mountain region. This guide was developed as a subset of this collection to help in the identification of the most prevalent flowering plants in Los Alamos County. Most of the plants shown here are native to the area, though a few were introduced to the region.

Monocot and both simple and composite flowering dicots are covered in this guide. This information is included in each description and potentially makes it easier to identify the different plants.

  • monocot – seed has 1 embryonic leaf; flower parts com in multiples of 3; leaves have parallel veins
  • dicot – seed has 1 embryonic leaves; flower parts com in multiples of 4 or 5; leaves have scattered veins
  • simple flower – single, symmetric flowers; usually 3 to 6 petals that emerge from the flower center
  • composite flower – multiple, tiny flowers arranged on a single base, typically rays around a disc; each tiny flower has its own seed

Most of the plants represented here are classified as forb/herb which are plants without significant woody growth. However, some flowering shrubs and trees have been included. Many of the later can also be found in the PEEC Tree Guide. This guide does not include any noxious weeds from the area. These are covered in the PEEC Invasive Plant Guide.

You can get additional information on local blooms by joining PEEC Wild Plants.  More detailed descriptions can be found in Plants of the Jemez Mountains Volumes 2 and 3, which are available in the PEEC gift shop.

Flower References

American Southwest Plants
Annotated Checklist and Database for Vascular Plants of the Jemez Mountains
Colorado Rocky Mountain Wildflowers
Flora of North America
Foxx, T., Martin, C., and Hoard, D., 2018 Plants of the Jemez Mountains Volume 2: Wildflowers: Showy Monocots and Common Dicots.
Foxx, T., Martin, C., and Hoard, D., 2019 Plants of the Jemez Mountains Volume 3: Composites.
eNature
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
National Garden Association
Native Plants Society of New Mexico
New Mexico Flora
Rocky Mountain Flora
Southwest Desert Flora
Wildflowers of the United States
US Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Services
US Forest Service

Subject Area Experts (all guides)

Steve Cary (butterflies)
Beth Cortright (insects)
Terry Foxx (invasive plants)
Leslie Hansen (mammals)
Richard Hansen (fish, mammals)
Dorothy Hoard (butterflies, trees)
Chick Keller (flowers, herbarium)
Shari Kelley (geology)
Kirt Kempter (geology)
Garth Tietjen (reptiles)
David Yeamans (birds)

Web Development and Content Management

Pat Bacha
Jennifer Macke
Graham Mark
Akkana Peck

Contact

Please contact us for local nature questions and sightings. We welcome comments, corrections, and additions to our guides.

For more information about local nature, please visit our Nature Blog or subscribe to PEEC This Week.

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Showing 61 of 179 flowers.
Fetid Goosefoot

Photo: Craig Martin

Fetid Goosefoot

Photo: Lena Zappia

Fetid Goosefoot

Photo: Chick Keller

Fetid Goosefoot

DYGR (Dysphania graveolens, Chenopodium graveolens)

Family: Amaranthaceae (Amaranths)
Size: up to 20 in (51 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; annual
Blooms: Sep 18 - Oct 31

Flower: simple; greenish-yellow; elongated, inconspicuous terminal clusters; no distinction between petal and sepals (tepals)
Leaf: dicot; alternate arrangement with 1 leaf per node; lobed; toothed; aromatic and red in autumn
Fruit: dry, spherical capsules that do not split open when ripe

Status: native; common
Habitat: ponderosa --- in shade of pines and junipers or occasionally in open dry plains and ridge tops

Stems of the Fetid Goosefoot are erect with short hairs. The stems and branches turn color to bright red in fall. Calyx and leaves may have yellow dots of a resinous material. The plant is thought to have special powers by many Southwest native peoples. The Zunis carried it for protection again lightening while the Navajos used it to protect them in warfare.

Info    Photos   Distribution   Weed Guide
Nodding Onion

Photo: Kathleen Sayce

Nodding Onion

Photo: Chick Keller

Nodding Onion

Photo: Patrick Alexander

Nodding Onion

ALCE2 (Allium cernuum)

Family: Amaryllidaceae (Amaryllis)
Size: 12 - 18 in (30 - 46 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Jun 27 - Oct 20

Flower: simple; pink or occasionally white; tiny bell-shaped blossoms in a loose nodding cluster
Leaf: monocot; fragrant; long, narrow, and upright
Fruit: spherical crested fruits that open to reveal brown seeds

Status: native; common
Habitat: ponderosa --- dry woods, rock outcroppings, prairies
Typical location: Valle Canyon

The plant has slender conical bulbs which taper directly into several grass-like leaves. Each bulb bears a single flower stem which terminates in a number of short flower stalks. Leaves and bulbs were once eaten but currently considered to be of little culinary value. Attracts hairstreak butterflies.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Golden Draba

Photo: Chick Keller

Golden Draba

Photo: Craig Martin

Golden Draba, Golden Whitlowgrass

DRAU (Draba aurea)

Family: Arabideae (Mustards)
Size: up to 8 in (20 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Jun 11 - Oct 31

Flower: simple; yellow; individual small flowers with 4 oblong petals with 4 sepals; compact flowerhead with up to 50 flowers
Leaf: dicot; smooth-edged or toothed; very hairy; grow as a rosette at the base and along the stems
Fruit: purplish green, hairy pods that are angled upwards

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: mixed conifer --- montane, alpine, subalpine, meadows, woodlands
Typical location: Canada Bonita Trail

The Golden Draba was named by Martin Vahl in 1806 from a specimen collected in Greenland. The native range of this plant covers Arizona and New Mexico north through all of Canada and includes Alaska and Greenland. Plants in the genus Draba are commonly known as whitlow-grasses. However, they are not related to true grasses.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Horsetail Milkweed

Photo: Becky Shankland

Horsetail Milkweed

Photo: Craig Martin

Horsetail Milkweed

Photo: Alex Abair

Horsetail Milkweed, Poison Milkweed, Whorled Milkweed

ASSU2 (Asclepias subverticillata)

Family: Asclepiadaceae (Milkweeds)
Size: up to 40 in (102 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Aug 15 - Oct 01

Flower: simple; white and greenish white; small clusters on short stalks; 5 sepals below 5 larger petals
Leaf: dicot; long and very narrow; grow in whorls at closely spaced intervals
Fruit: long, thin pod-like fruit on a short stem; splits to release fluffy seeds

Status: native; common
Habitat: disturbed soil --- Seen along road edges.
Typical location: White Rock

The plant contains a milky sap that is neurotoxic and thus a hazard to livestock. However, it is a host plant for Monarch butterfly larvae and crucial to its survival. The fibers from partially ripe fruit pods have been used for weaving.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Ragleaf Bahia

Photo: Chick Keller

Ragleaf Bahia

Photo: Patrick Alexander

Ragleaf Bahia, Wirey Bahia, Sunray Daisy

BADI (Amauriopsis dissecta, Bahia dissecta)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: up to 30 in (76 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; annual, biennial, perennial
Blooms: Aug 18 - Oct 31

Flower: composite; yellow; rounded petals that are slightly notched; ray florets overlap and slightly shorter than the central disc florets
Leaf: dicot; small, oblong, and deeply lobed; mostly located near base of stem
Fruit: Ragleaf Bahia has an open, airy growth pattern with spindly, branching and erect stems. The upper ends of the stems often curve, pointing downwards. Augustus Fendler was the first to collect this species near the Mora River in New Mexico about 1846.

Status: native; common
Habitat: disturbed soil, pinyon-juniper, ponderosa --- foothills, montane, disturbed areas, meadows

Ragleaf Bahia has an open, airy growth pattern with spindly, branching and erect stems. The upper ends of the stems often curve, pointing downwards. Augustus Fendler was the first to collect this species near the Mora River in New Mexico about 1846.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Lyreleaf Greeneyes

Photo: Kathy Gillespie

Lyreleaf Greeneyes


Lyreleaf Greeneyes

Photo: Ellen Hildebrand

Lyreleaf Greeneyes, Chocolate Flower, Chocolate Daisy

BELY (Berlandiera lyrata, Berlandiera incisa)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: 12 - 24 in (30 - 61 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: May 03 - Sep 30

Flower: composite; yellow rays with brown centers and green cup-like bracts; rays have red veins on reverse side
Leaf: dicot; gray-green; pinnate, deeply-lobed leaves with lyre-shaped curves; velvety
Fruit: cup-like seedheads

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: pinyon-juniper --- dry, well-drained sites, sandy or rocky soils, roadsides, grasslands with mesquite, oak, and juniper
Typical location: Red Dot Trail near bottom

The common name of lyreleaf greeneyes comes from the shape of the leaf and the green eye-like disc left after the ray florets drop off. The "chocolate" scent of the flower is responsible for its other common names. In addition, the stamens are edible and have a chocolate flavor. The plant seems to disappear when it freezes but the roots are alive and will remain dormant until spring.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
False Boneset

Photo: Becky Shankland

False Boneset

Photo: Alex Abair

False Boneset

Photo: Alex Abair

False Boneset

BREU (Brickellia eupatorioides, Kuhnia chlorolepis)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: up to 80 in (203 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, subshrub; perennial
Blooms: Jun 15 - Sep 30

Flower: composite; white to yellow; clusters of flowerheads at branch tips; ray florets absent; 3 - 35 disc florets per head; prominent styles
Leaf: dicot; long, linear to lanceolate blades with prominent center vein; alternate arrangement; closely spaced
Fruit: dark brown, ribbed achenes with minute hairs

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: disturbed soil --- Road edges and trails.
Typical location: White Rock

False Boneset is actually more showy after the flowers go to seed in little white puffs. Its foliage is bitter and has little nutritional value, so mammalian herbivores, including livestock, only browse on it when there is little else available. Various types of bees and butterflies visit flowerheads for nectar and/or pollen. The caterpillars of some moths feed on flowerheads and developing seeds.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Tasselflower Brickellbush

Photo: Chick Keller

Tasselflower Brickellbush

Photo: Craig Martin

Tasselflower Brickellbush

Photo: Craig Martin

Tasselflower Brickellbush, Mountain Brickellbush

BRGR (Brickellia grandiflora)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: 12 - 38 in (30 - 97 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, subshrub; perennial
Blooms: Aug 25 - Oct 20

Flower: composite; pale yellow to light green; thin, tubular disc florets; stamen and style protrude beyond florets; clusters hanging from short branches
Leaf: dicot; slightly hairy with enlarged gland at tip; triangular leaves with pointed tip
Fruit: small, dark, bristly capsules

Status: native; common
Habitat: mixed conifer --- rocky hillsides, shaded forests, dry slopes, canyons, banks, cliffs, roadsides

Tasselflower Brickellbush is often overlooked but can be found if one looks in its favorite rocky habitat. The plant takes its name from Dr. John Brickell, an early American physician and naturalist. Brickellia grandiflora is distinguished from others in the same genus but its leaf shape and the the nodding of its flower clusters. It is a host for the rust fungus Puccini’s subdecora. A tea made from this plant has 3 uses: lowering blood sugar, stimulating stomach secretion, and stimulating bile synthesis.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Hoary Tansyaster

Photo: Jennifer Macke

Hoary Tansyaster

Photo: Mary Carol Williams

Hoary Tansyaster

Photo: twr61

Hoary Tansyaster, Purple Aster, Hoary Aster

MACA2 (Dieteria canescens, Machaeranthera canescens)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: up to 40 in (102 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; annual, biennial, perennial
Blooms: Sep 10 - Nov 07

Flower: composite; blue/purple and yellow; ray florets appear as if floating; numerous bracts below
Leaf: dicot; small and oblong; covered with fine hair; serrated edges
Fruit: achene (one-seeded fruit) topped with bristles

Status: native; common
Habitat: disturbed soil, pinyon-juniper --- foothills, montane, subalpine

The stems are slender, green, and erect. The daisy-like flowers are commonly found with numerous insects. The species of canescens is Latin for “becoming gray” and is used to describe the abundance of hairs on many of the plants. This is also reflected in the “hoary” portion of many of the plant’s common names. However, some Dieteria canescens are hairless.

Info    Photos   Distribution   Weed Guide
Fetid Marigold

Photo: Becky Shankland

Fetid Marigold

Photo: Sam Kieschnick

Fetid Marigold

Photo: bodo

Fetid Marigold, Dogweed

DYPA (Dyssodia papposa)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: up to 15 in (38 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; annual
Blooms: Aug 01 - Oct 03

Flower: composite; yellow and bell-shaped; 8 short ray florets and about 5 spreading disc florets; clusters of single heads on flowering stalk
Leaf: dicot; deeply divided linear lobes; few teeth on edges; mostly hairless; opposite orientation
Fruit: small achene topped with bristles

Status: native; locally common
Habitat: disturbed soil --- Road and trail edges
Typical location: White Rock

Fetid Marigold foliage is dotted with orange-brown spots which produce a pungent odor, considered to be unpleasant by many, when the leaves are crushed. For this reason, some consider the plant to be a weed and is the origin of the plant’s scientific genus which means 'ill=smelling'. Despite this, several uses for the plant have been identified including as a food in bread and for relief of gastrointestinal distress.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Spreading Fleabane

Photo: Chick Keller

Spreading Fleabane

Photo: Craig Martin

Spreading Fleabane, Rough Fleabane, Branching Fleabane, Fleabane Daisy

ERDI4 (Erigeron divergens)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: 5 - 30 in (13 - 76 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; biennial
Blooms: Sep 03 - Oct 31

Flower: composite; varies from white to pale pink up to 150 ray florets; twice that number of yellow disc florets; buds are deep pink
Leaf: dicot; covered in short, thin grey-white hairs; leaf color and dimensions can be variable
Fruit: capsules with scales and a sparse number of hairs

Status: native; common
Habitat: mixed conifer, mountain meadow, oak woodland, pinyon-juniper, ponderosa --- foothills, montane, meadows, disturbed areas

Spreading Fleabane has many branches with dense hair and tends to grow in open cluster. This species of fleabane can display agamospermy, reproducing asexually via seed. The Navajos had many medical uses for the plant. Whereas, the Kiowa people considered it a good luck charm.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Sprucefir Fleabane

Photo: Chick Keller

Sprucefir Fleabane

Photo: Holly Giorgio-Dundon

Sprucefir Fleabane, Regal Daisy, Splendid Daisy

EREX4 (Erigeron eximius)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: up to 24 in (61 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, subshrub; perennial
Blooms: Aug 01 - Oct 31

Flower: composite; purple to white with yellow; flowering stalk has between 1 to 5 heads with numerous disc florets each with 40 to 80 ray florets
Leaf: dicot; large number of broad leaves around base; lesser numbers along the stem; edges variable from smooth to small teeth to large teeth
Fruit: hairy archenes with long bristles

Status: native; common
Habitat: mixed conifer --- montane, woodlands
Typical location: Canada Bonita Trail

The plant spreads by underground roots producing a mass of leaves. However, very few of the leaf clusters produce flowers. It is often overlooked, even though, it can be abundant in an area.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Trailing Fleabane

Photo: Susan Punjabi

Trailing Fleabane

Photo: Chick Keller

Trailing Fleabane, Whiplash Daisy

ERFL (Erigeron flagellaris)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: up to 8 in (20 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; biennial
Blooms: May 30 - Oct 31

Flower: composite; white and yellow with blush of pink; as many as 125 white ray florets; numerous yellow disc florets
Leaf: dicot; light green; narrow; numerous arranged in clusters
Fruit: tufted single seeds

Status: native; common
Habitat: mixed conifer, ponderosa --- foothills, montane, subalpine, meadows
Typical location: Water Canyon

Plant sends out runners along the surface of the ground to colonize large areas., forming extensive mats of clones. Tied bunches of plants used for brooms. Leaves used as a medicine and fumigant.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Aspen Fleabane

Photo: Chick Keller

Aspen Fleabane

Photo: Nat Warning

Aspen Fleabane, Showy Fleabane

ERSP4 (Erigeron speciosus)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: up to 40 in (102 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Jul 12 - Oct 31

Flower: composite; ray florets vary from lavender to white with yellow disc florets; ray florets are long and narrow; there may be up to 150 per flowerhead
Leaf: dicot; lnceolate leaves with a prominent vein
Fruit: 2-veined capsule

Status: native; common
Habitat: ponderosa --- subalpine, montane, open areas

There are six common (and a few more uncommon) Erigeron in the area. This species is one of the most common. It has certainly earned one of its common names (Showy Fleabane) with its abundant display of flowers. The stems are reddish-green and usually hairless.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Three-nerve Fleabane

Photo: Chick Keller

Three-nerve Fleabane

Photo: Jerry Oldenettel

Three-nerve Fleabane, Hairy Showy Daisy, Threenerve Fleabane

ERSU2 (Erigeron subtrinervis)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: up to 36 in (91 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Aug 01 - Oct 31

Flower: composite; shades of blue/purple with yellow center; 100 to 150 thin ray florets around a large number of disc florets; there may be a single flowerhead or up to 20 in a flat-topped array
Leaf: dicot; lance-shaped leaves with fine hairs along the margins and both surfaces; 1 central prominent vein and 2 others
Fruit: capsule sparsely covered in bristles

Status: native; common
Habitat: mixed conifer, ponderosa --- montane, subalpine, meadows

Erigeron subtrinervis is distinguished from others of its genus by the fact it is the only species where the surfaces of its leaves have fine hairs. The plant has a short, woody base with a large number of leafy stems. It, like other Fleabanes, derived its common name from the belief that the dried pants would repel fleas.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Running Fleabane

Photo: Chick Keller

Running Fleabane

Photo: Dan Beckman

Running Fleabane, Running Daisy, Tracy's Fleabane

ERCO28 (Erigeron tracyi, Erigeron colomexicanus )

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: 6 - 12 in (15 - 30 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; biennial
Blooms: Feb 01 - Dec 01

Flower: composite; white with yellow center, may have purple color on edges; a single flowerhead per stem made up of 100 ray florets and over 200 disc florets
Leaf: dicot; basal leaves close together and wider toward the tip; stem leaves few and narrow; hairy
Fruit: archenes topped with bristles

Status: native; common
Habitat: pinyon-juniper --- foothills, open areas, and woods
Typical location: Red Dot Trail

Spreads via runners during summer and fall. Similar in overall appearance to Spreading Fleabane but has runner similar to Whiplash Daisy.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Indian Blanket

Photo: Craig Martin

Indian Blanket

Photo: Akkana Peck

Indian Blanket

Photo: Jerry Oldenettel

Indian Blanket, Firewheel, Indian Blanketflower, Sundance

GAPU (Gaillardia pulchella)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: 18 - 24 in (46 - 61 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, subshrub; annual, biennial, perennial
Blooms: May 05 - Oct 15

Flower: composite; ray florets red to orange at base with yellow tips; sometimes all yellow or orange; disc florets are reddish-brown
Leaf: dicot; alternate arrangement; long, wide and toothed
Fruit: seedhead with pyramid-shaped cypselae and multiple hairs and scales

Status: native; common
Habitat: disturbed soil, pinyon-juniper --- roadsides, meadows, dry plains, open areas
Typical location: White Rock

This is a hardy plant, tolerating heat and dryness. Many varieties are popular for cultivation providing a showy splash of color to the garden. The plant is favored by honeybees and produces a dark reddish buttery tasting honey. It also attracts butterflies. The roots can be used to make a tea.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Curlycup Gumweed

Photo: Becky Shankland

Curlycup Gumweed

Photo: Craig Martin

Curlycup Gumweed, Curly-cup Gumweed, Rosinweed, Tarweed

GRSQ (Grindelia squarrosa)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: 3 - 36 in (8 - 91 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; annual, biennial, perennial
Blooms: Jun 01 - Oct 10

Flower: composite; yellow; daisy-like, medium sized multiple heads with many disc florets but with or without ray florets; “curlycup” comes from distinctive recurved bracts that enclose the flowerheads
Leaf: dicot; green to gray-green linear leaves; margins smooth or toothed
Fruit: short whitish to brown or gray capsules

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: disturbed soil --- Road edges, especially in White Rock.
Typical location: White Rock

The plant, including the flower heads, produces a sticky, gummy resin; thus the origin of many of its common names. Curlycup Gumweed concentrates selenium giving it a very bitter taste and making it toxic to mammals. This plant is being studies as a potential source of biofuel to to its high content of several terpene compounds that can be converted to a fuel analogues to kerosene. It is an attractive plant for this use since it would not compete for areas used for traditional food crops.

Info    Photos   Distribution   Weed Guide
Broom Snakeweed

Photo: Becky Shankland

Broom Snakeweed

Photo: Alex Abair

Broom Snakeweed

Photo: Ellen Hildebrandt

Broom Snakeweed, Matchbrush, Broomweed, Kindlingweed

GUSA2 (Gutierrezia sarothrae)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: 8 - 28 in (20 - 71 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, subshrub; perennial
Blooms: Sep 01 - Oct 31

Flower: composite; yellow; ray florets that are not symmetrical; tiny tuffs growing at the end of branches;
Leaf: dicot; yellow-green; thread-like; lower leaves may have dropped by the time of flowering shed
Fruit: oval and covered with chaffy scales; seeds brown and hairy

Status: native; common
Habitat: pinyon-juniper --- semi-desert, foothills, openings, roadsides

Its name is derived by the fact that the dried stems were originally used as a broom. This plant is often confused with Rabbitbrush (genus Chrysothamus), but the two can be distinguished by their flowers (Broom Snakeweed - ray flowers; Rabbitbush - tubular flowers).

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Showy Goldeneye

Photo: Chick Keller

Showy Goldeneye

Photo: Craig martin

Showy Goldeneye

HEMU3 (Heliomeris multiflora)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: 12 - 48 in (30 - 122 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, subshrub; perennial
Blooms: Jul 19 - Oct 31

Flower: composite; yellow; 5 to 14 ray florets with a small notch at the tip; 50+ disc florets; disc florets dome as mature
Leaf: dicot; long, thin, lance-shaped; strong center vein with lesser veins on the edges; may have small teeth
Fruit: black or gray capsules

Status: native; locally common
Habitat: mixed conifer --- foothills, montane, subalpine

One plant can produce 25 or more flower heads. The flowers start out greenish, gradually turning yellow. The stems are reddish, with faint markings and short hairs. It grows in bush clumps and can be quite spectacular in the fall.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Hairy False Goldenaster

Photo: Chick Keller

Hairy False Goldenaster

Photo: Craig Martin

Hairy False Goldenaster

Photo: M Feaver

Hairy False Goldenaster, False Hairy Golden-Aster; Hairy False Golden Aster

HEVI4 (Heterotheca villosa)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: 12 - 36 in (30 - 91 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, subshrub; perennial
Blooms: Jun 27 - Oct 31

Flower: composite; yellow with orange center; branched cluster of up to 15 flowers; 10 to 20 ray florets; 20 to 50 disc florets; corollas have a 5-lobed lip
Leaf: dicot; greyish-green; small, narrow, and lance-shaped; grow densely; often have wavy edge; alternate arrangement
Fruit: head of dry seeds with tufts of light brown hairs

Status: native; common
Habitat: pinyon-juniper, ponderosa --- semi-desert, foothills, montane, openings, disturbed areas
Typical location: Quemazon Trail

Hairy False Goldenaster blooms throughout the summer until snowfall with the flowers giving a bushy appearance. Its species name of villosa means “covered with soft hairs” flowing from the fact that the stems are covered with rough, grayish hairs. The plant has a spicy-sharp sage aroma. There are two different shaped seeds which is unusual for sunflowers.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Dotted Blazing Star

Photo: Barbara Calef

Dotted Blazing Star

Photo: Chick Keller

Dotted Blazing Star

Photo: Ellen Hildebrandt

Dotted Blazing Star, Dotted Gayfeather, Dotted Liatris

LIPU (Liatris punctata)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: up to 32 in (81 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Aug 18 - Oct 31

Flower: composite; pink to purple; long spike-like clusters; 3 to 8 star-like disc florets with long style
Leaf: dicot; narrow and grass-like; become thinner as ascend the stem; covered in short white hairs and dots of resin; flowers appear in the top third to half of the stem
Fruit: small dark seed with a tuft of light brown hair

Status: native; common
Habitat: ponderosa --- forests, shrub, woodland, prairie, grassland
Typical location: Quemazon Trail

This plant is drought-tolerant with deep roots and fire-tolerant being able to respout from its rhizome. It is also considered to be an ornamental plant. It is eaten by livestock and similar wild large mammals. Many butterflies favor its nectar.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Mountain Tail-leaf

Photo: Chick Keller

Mountain Tail-leaf

Photo: Craig Martin

Mountain Tail-leaf

Photo: Craig Martin

Mountain Tail-leaf, Mountain Tailleaf, Mountain Taperleaf

PECA10 (Pericome caudata, Pericome glandulosa)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: up to 36 in (91 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, subshrub; perennial
Blooms: Aug 24 - Oct 20

Flower: composite; yellow — only disc florets; arrayed in leafy-braced, compound clusters
Leaf: dicot; simple, often triangular-shaped with a long point; potentially with a few large teeth or sharp lobes
Fruit: oblong and flat; black with a fringe of scales

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: mixed conifer, ponderosa --- common along mountain road banks
Typical location: Pajarito Canyon

Mountain Tail-leaf is usually a large rounded bush found in a sunny place. The plant has a pungent, goat-like odor, prompting the early settlers of New Mexico to call it “yerba de chivato” or “herb of the he-goat”. It has be found around archaelogical sites in Norther Arizona. and has long been used by the Navajo for a variety of ceremonial and medicinal purposes such as for headaches and toothaches.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Woolly Paperflower

Photo: Becky Shankland

Woolly Paperflower

Photo: Craig Martin

Woolly Paperflower

Photo: Ellen Hildebrandt

Woolly Paperflower, Paperflower, Paper Daisy

PSTA (Psilostrophe tagetina)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: 4 - 12 in (10 - 30 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, subshrub; biennial, perennial
Blooms: Jun 25 - Oct 15

Flower: composite; yellow; compact clusters of flowerheads on short stems; 3 or 4 yellow ray florets, notched at the tip, and 6 to 12 disc florets
Leaf: dicot; greyish-green with long, soft hairs; arranged alongs the base and stems
Fruit: capsules usually smooth but sometimes with very fine hairs

Status: native; common
Habitat: pinyon-juniper --- Often seen along road edges.
Typical location: White Rock

The flowers remain for several months and eventually turn papery given the plant its common name. Different Native American tribes have used the plant in a variety of ways from treating a stomachache and snake bite to making it into a yellow dye.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Mexican Hat

Photo: Chick Keller

Mexican Hat

Photo: Mary Carol Williams

Mexican Hat

Photo: Ellen Hildebrandt

Mexican Hat, Long-headed Coneflower, Prairie Coneflower

RACO3 (Ratibida columnifera)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: 18 - 36 in (46 - 91 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Jun 30 - Oct 20

Flower: composite; orange, red and yellow; 4 to 12 droopy, streaked ray florets with a notch at the top; long cone covered in dark disc florets; flowerheads are high above the leaves on ribbed stalks
Leaf: dicot; long; deeply lobed; toothless with stiff hairs
Fruit: cone develops numerous tiny, winged, brown seeds

Status: native; locally common
Habitat: disturbed soil --- prairie, plains, meadows, pastures, roadsides
Typical location: Bypass Road to Ski Hill

The Mexican Hat received its common name from the fact that it somewhat resembles the shape of a slender sombrero. It is native to the state but not to Los Alamos. It is smaller than most other coneflowers but has a longer cone and rays that are about the same length as the cone. The Zunis used an infusion of the whole plant as an emetic.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Black-eyed Susan

Photo: Yvonne Keller

Black-eyed Susan

Photo: Mary Carole Williams

Black-eyed Susan, Brown-eyed Susan

RUHI2 (Rudbeckia hirta)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: 12 - 24 in (30 - 61 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; annual, biennial, perennial
Blooms: Jun 26 - Oct 20

Flower: composite; bright yellow with dark center; 8 to 21 ray florets
Leaf: dicot; green, oval and covered with hairs
Fruit: brown achene with numerous small black seeds

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: mixed conifer --- open areas in forests
Typical location: Pajarito Upper Canyon

Plant blooms continuously up until a harsh frost. Can be considered a short-lived perennial.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Broomlike Ragwort

Photo: Chick Keller

Broomlike Ragwort

Photo: Jerry Oldenettel

Broomlike Ragwort

Photo: Craig Martin

Broomlike Ragwort, Many-headed Senecio, Broom Groundsel, Many-headed Groundsel

SESP3 (Senecio spartioides)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: 8 - 36 in (20 - 91 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, subshrub; perennial
Blooms: Aug 25 - Oct 31

Flower: composite; yellow; 5-8 ray florets; initially rounded but later becoming longer; erect, flat-topped clusters of many flowerheads
Leaf: dicot; long and narrow; divided with linear segments
Fruit: achenes topped with small bristles

Status: native; locally common
Habitat: mixed conifer --- semi-desert, foothills, shrublands, and sandy, gravelly openings
Typical location: Trail across Flats to Red Dot Trail

Broomlike Ragwort grows in an open, unbranched manner with many stems. The plant spreads from the base. Individual plants are spaced about 3 ft (1 m) apart. The lower leaves wither by the time the flowers open making the plant look dead on the bottom but full of life on the top.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Mt. Albert Goldenrod

Photo: Carrie Clinton

Mt. Albert Goldenrod

Photo: Jerry Oldenettel

Mt. Albert Goldenrod, Smooth Goldenrod, Narrow Goldenrod, Sticky Goldenrod

SOSI3 (Solidago simplex)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: up to 32 in (81 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, subshrub; perennial
Blooms: Aug 02 - Oct 31

Flower: composite; yellow; wide, broad clusters; number of flowerheads vary widely; densely packed on all sides of the stem
Leaf: dicot; large, toothed; grow mostly around the base; stem leaves smaller and narrower
Fruit: capsules with dark ridges and stiff bristles

Status: native; common
Habitat: ponderosa --- montane, subalpine, alpine, meadows
Typical location: Valle Canyon

Flowers are clustered in such a way as to give the plant a soft, fuzzy appearance. There are sticky, yellowish glands at the bottom of the flowers that are not found in similar species. Seeds are eaten by many different songbirds. Deer and rabbits occasionally feed on the foliage.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Threenerve Goldenrod

Photo: Chick Keller

Threenerve Goldenrod

Photo: Craig Martin

Threenerve Goldenrod

Photo: Don Rideout

Threenerve Goldenrod, Sparse Goldenrod

SOVE6 (Solidago velutina)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: 6 - 30 in (15 - 76 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, subshrub; perennial
Blooms: Aug 18 - Oct 31

Flower: composite; yellow; 6 to 12 short rays with 5 to 17 disc florets; clusters are “wand-shaped” with up to 500 flowerheads per cluster
Leaf: dicot; oval-shaped; pointing upwards with a light covering of hair; 3 prominent veins
Fruit: small capsules; covered with short, dense hairs

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: ponderosa --- foothills, montane, subalpine, meadows, woodland openings
Typical location: Entrance to Pajarito Canyon

The Threenerve Goldenrod tends to arch slightly and have flowers that grow on one side of the stem. The plants form groupings of diffuse clones. There are several recognized subspecies of Solidago velutina. The genus Solidago come from the Latin meaning “whole” or “solid” and refers to this group of plant’s supposed ability to heal. Infusions from the plant have been used to treat a variety of illnesses.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Wright's Goldenrod

Photo: Chick Keller

Wright's Goldenrod

Photo: Sam Kieschnick

Wright's Goldenrod

Photo: Craig Martin

Wright's Goldenrod, Bushy Goldenrod

SOWR (Solidago wrightii, Solidago bigelovii)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: 8 - 40 in (20 - 102 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Aug 18 - Oct 31

Flower: composite; yellow ray and disc florets; more disc florets than ray; arranged in elongated clusters with up to 140 flowerheads
Leaf: dicot; lance-shaped with short stalks; smooth overall; alternative arrangement
Fruit: brown capsules with bristles that are minutely barbed

Status: native; common
Habitat: ponderosa --- foothills, montane, subalpine, meadows, woodland openings
Typical location: Bayo Bench Trail

Wright’s Goldrod is notable as a tall, erect plant with numerous large sprays of flowers and multiple stems that come up from the base. The leaves of this plant are broader than on other goldenrods and only has a single vein, though it is difficult to see. It grows at an elevation of 3,200 ft (1000 m) to 8,800 ft (2,700 m).

Info    Photos   Distribution   
White Heath Aster

Photo: Chick Keller

White Heath Aster

Photo: Joe Bartok

White Heath Aster

Photo: Mary Krieger

White Heath Aster, White Aster, White Prairie Aster, White Heath American-Aster

SYERE (Symphyotrichum ericoides)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: 12 - 36 in (30 - 91 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Sep 10 - Oct 31

Flower: composite; white with yellow center; small, daisy-like flowers; organized into large groups that spread into one-sided dense sprays
Leaf: dicot; soft green but darken with age; alternate arrangement; linear with smooth edges
Fruit: little seeds with tufts of white hairs

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: ponderosa --- foothills, montane, woodland openings, fields, roadsides

White Heath Aster spreads by underground runners to form large patches. Its hairy stems are green initially but usually become brown as the plant matures. The lower leaves often fall off before the plant flowers. The plant has an overall “heath-like” appearance due to the needle-like bracts on the flowering stems and its distinctive narrow, linear leaves. It is attractive to butterflies.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Smooth Blue Aster

Photo: Chick Keller

Smooth Blue Aster

Photo: Kate McConnell

Smooth Blue Aster, Smooth Aster

SYLA3 (Symphyotrichum laeve)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: 12 - 36 in (30 - 91 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Aug 26 - Oct 31

Flower: composite; blue to purple with yellow center; blowers arranged in clusters; 13 to 23 ray florets; 19 to 33 disc florets which start out yellow and eventually turn purplish
Leaf: dicot; alternate arrangement and usually hairless; vary in shape and may or may not be toothed
Fruit: capsules with bristles at the tip; eventually form hairs like dandelion seeds

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: ponderosa --- prairies, rocky glades, dry open woods, roadsides

The Smooth Blue Aster has hairless, waxy, reddish stems and forms clumps. Its root system is rhizomatous with older plants potentially developing woody caudices. Sometime offsets are procured via rhizomes. The flowers attract bees, wasps, and flies. Other insects are attracted to the leaves. In addition, mammalian herbivores like rabbits, cattle and sheep will eat the foliage.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Stiff Greenthread

Photo: Chick Keller

Stiff Greenthread

Photo: Terry Foxx

Stiff Greenthread, Hopi Tea

THFI (Thelesperma filifolium)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: 4 - 16 in (10 - 41 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; annual
Blooms: May 01 - Oct 30

Flower: composite; yellow ray flowers; reddish disc florets;
Leaf: dicot; thin green leaves that are thread-like scattered along the stems
Fruit: capsules with tufted hairs

Status: native; common
Habitat: disturbed soil --- dry hills and plains
Typical location: Canyon Rim Trail paved section east end parking

When budding, the flower heads droop but stand upright when open. The plant is used to make an herbal tea and is currently cultivated on the Colorado Plateau in New Mexico for this purpose. The seeds are eaten by some birds and the plant is larval food for the sulphur butterfly.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Townsend's Daisy

Photo: Chick Keller

Townsend's Daisy

Photo: Craig MartinRaphael Mazor

Townsend's Daisy, Rocky Mountain Townsend Daisy, Tall Townsend Daisy

TOEX (Townsendia eximia)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: 8 - 12 in (20 - 30 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Jun 27 - Oct 20

Flower: composite; purple with yellow center; showy flowerhead 50+ ray florets and 100+ disc florets
Leaf: dicot; dense clusters of basal leaves; widely-spaced, alternate spatula-shaped narrow stem leaves
Fruit: capsules with tufts of forked hair

Status: native; locally common
Habitat: mixed conifer, ponderosa --- gravely banks, canyon walls, woodlands
Typical location: Quemazon Trail

Unlike other Townsendia species, Townsendia eximia grows upright and has purple flowers rather than white or pink. Its range is primarily confined to Northern and Central New Mexico and far Southern Colorado. Despite its limited range, it appears to be ecologically secure.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Golden Crownbeard

Photo: Jerry Oldenettel

Golden Crownbeard

Photo: Chick Keller

Golden Crownbeard

Photo: Ellen Hildebrandt

Golden Crownbeard, Cowpen Daisy, Butter Daisy

VEEN (Verbesina encelioides)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: 10 - 50 in (25 - 127 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; annual
Blooms: Sep 10 - Oct 31

Flower: composite; from yellow to orange-yellow to brown; typically 12 broad yellow petals with two lengthwise grooves and notches at the tip; 80 to 150 tubular disc florets; usually singular flowerheads
Leaf: dicot; large blue-green leaves; toothed edges and covered with short hairs; opposite arrangement on stem but alternate arrangement near base
Fruit: brownish, narrow obovate achene or one-seeded fruit

Status: native; common
Habitat: disturbed soil --- open areas, sunny, dry conditions
Typical location: White Rock

Golden Crownbeard is often considered to be a weed but is an important medicinal plant. It has anti-inflammatory properties but is also one of the most potent allergens around. The plant is upright with many branched stems. It is commonly found on disturbed ground and can color miles of roadside.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Bluebell Bellflower

Photo: David Schiferl

Bluebell Bellflower

Photo: Craig Martin

Bluebell Bellflower, Harebell

CARO2 (Campanula rotundifolia)

Family: Campanulaceae (Bellflowers)
Size: 4 - 15 in (10 - 38 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Jul 08 - Oct 20

Flower: simple; blue to purple; racemes with many flowers on slender pedicels; 5 petals fused in bell-shape
Leaf: dicot; rounded to heart-shaped; usually slightly toothed with prominent pores
Fruit: grows out of the flower into a nodding capsule; splits open when ripe

Status: native; common
Habitat: mixed conifer, ponderosa --- rocky slopes, meadows, woods, roadsides
Typical location: Canada Bonita

Common at a variety of elevations. They are usually found in small groups or larger colonies.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Woodland Pinedrops

Photo: Chick Keller

Woodland Pinedrops

Photo: Alex Abair



Photo: Christy King

Woodland Pinedrops, Pinedrops

PTAN2 (Pterospora andromedea)

Family: Ericaceae (Heathers)
Size: up to 24 in (61 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Jun 26 - Oct 31

Flower: simple; yellow with red; egg=shaped; hang in a long raceme
Leaf: dicot; no true leaves; sometimes scales growing on the flower stalk
Fruit: small rounded capsules; brown and dry at maturity; seeds escape through slits in the sides of the fruit

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: ponderosa --- montane, confer woodlands

Woodland Pinedrops have no chlorophyll, rather the plant is a parasite on mycorrhizal fungi which in turn parasitize conifer roots. Its stems which often form clusters are reddish-brown plant and covered with glandular hairs. Stems only grow for one year, but remain for several years as dried stalks.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Toothed Spurge

Photo: Jerry Oldenettel

Toothed Spurge

Photo: Frank Vincentz

Toothed Spurge

Photo: C Whiting

Toothed Spurge, Toothed Poinsettia, Green Poinsettia

EUDE4 (Euphorbia dentata)

Family: Euphorbiaceae (Spurges)
Size: up to 24 in (61 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; annual
Blooms: Jul 01 - Sep 30

Flower: simple; green with white; tiny, indistinct cluster at tip of stem; fringed margins
Leaf: dicot; alternate orientation at bottom, opposite at top; elliptical-shaped; toothed; may have red spots
Fruit: three lobed, stalked capsule; may turn reddish in sunlight; gray-brown seeds

Status: native; common
Habitat: disturbed soil --- White Rock road edges
Typical location: White Rock

Each cluster of Toothed Spurge flowers has several structures called cyathia, each with a mixture of inconspicuous flowers and immature fruits. The fruit develops rapidly from the center, initially hanging down, but becoming erect at maturity. The sap of the plant is irritating to the skin and eyes and can cause gastrointestinal tract problems in herbivores that browse on it. Therefore, it is considered a noxious weed in many parts of the US. The Toothed Spurge is in the same genus as the Christmas Poinsettia.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Nevada Peavine

Photo: scottmo

Nevada Peavine

Photo: Craig Martin

Nevada Peavine

Photo: Craig Martin

Nevada Peavine, White Peavine, Arizona Peavine

LALAL3 (Lathyrus lanszwertii var. leucanthus)

Family: Fabaceae (Peas)
Size: 12 - 24 in (30 - 61 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, vine; perennial
Blooms: May 30 - Oct 25

Flower: simple; white with a small mount of pink; grow in clusters from long flower stalks
Leaf: dicot; two types of leaves: elliptical (higher elevation) versus narrow, linear (lower elevation)
Fruit: boat-shaped pod

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: ponderosa --- montane, subalpine, woodlands
Typical location: Canada Bonita Trail, Valle Canyon

Grows from 4,000 ft (1.2 km) to timberline with elevation influencing leaf shape. Like other legumes, fixes nitrogen.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Pleated Gentian

Photo: Chick Keller

Pleated Gentian

Photo: Morgan Stickrod

Pleated Gentian, Prairie Gentian, Rocky Mountain Bottle Gentian

GEAF (Gentiana affinis)

Family: Gentianacae (Gentians)
Size: 6 - 16 in (15 - 41 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Aug 21 - Oct 20

Flower: simple; purple with white; closely growing clusters of funnel-shaped flowers; 5 lobes; green center and dots
Leaf: dicot; short, thin; growing between the flower heads
Fruit: cylindrical capsules with short stripes; seeds winged

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: mountain meadow, ponderosa --- wet meadows, montane, subalpine, alpine
Typical location: Canada Bonita, Dot Grant Trail

This plant is often overlooked as it frequently grows among grasses and other tall plants. However, there may be dozen of plants scattered widely over an open area. The plant is distinguished by it maroon colored stem. New plants will sprout from the roots of older plants.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Autumn Dwarf Gentian

Photo:

Autumn Dwarf Gentian

Photo: Chick Keller

Autumn Dwarf Gentian, Little Gentian

GEAM3 (Gentianella amarella)

Family: Gentianaceae (Gentians)
Size: up to 30 in (76 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; annual, biennial
Blooms: Aug 02 - Oct 20

Flower: simple; shades of purple and white; 5 lobes with 5 stamens; circular group of long white hairs; grows in small clusters at the tip of the stem
Leaf: dicot; elliptical to lanceolate leaves with a purple tinge; hairless; opposite pairs with 5 veins
Fruit: 2-part capsule; seeds smooth and slightly flattened

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: montane, subalpine, woodlands, meadows, open areas
Typical location: Canada Bonita Trail

The Autumn Dwarf Gentian is found throughout the Western United States and across Canada to the East Coast. It is also native throughout Northern Europe. Gentianella amarella is one of the gentian species that is a source of medicinal gentian root. Gentian is a bitter herb used even today for the treatment of digestive disorders and general debility. In the past it was used to treat malaria.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Redstem Stork's Bill

Photo: Craig Martin

Redstem Stork's Bill

Photo: Craig Martin

Redstem Stork's Bill

Photo: Craig Martin

Redstem Stork's Bill, Redstem Filaree, Pinweed, Cranesbill

ERCI6 (Erodium cicutarium)

Family: Geraniacea (Geraniums)
Size: 6 - 12 in (15 - 30 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; annual, biennial
Blooms: Jan 02 - Dec 30

Flower: simple; pink, often with dark spots; arranged in loose clusters with 10 filaments
Leaf: dicot; deeply cleft; fern-like
Fruit: long, narrow, pointed seed pods

Status: naturalized plant; common
Habitat: disturbed soil --- desert scrub, grasslands, oak woodlands, semi-desert grassland, lawns, gardens; more common at lower elevations

It was introduced into California from the Mediterranean Basin in the eighteenth century. The entire plant is edible and resembles a parsley when picked young. It is considered to be a weed in some areas.

Info    Photos   Distribution   Weed Guide
Pineywoods Geranium

Photo: Chick Keller

Pineywoods Geranium

Photo: Craig Martin

Pineywoods Geranium

Photo: ajileong5

Pineywoods Geranium, Purple Geranium

GECA3 (Geranium caespitosum)

Family: Geraniaceae (Geraniums)
Size: up to 18 in (46 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, subshrub; perennial
Blooms: Jun 01 - Oct 20

Flower: simple; pink or purple; 5 elliptic to obovate petals; dark veins
Leaf: dicot; deep cuts and 5 to 7 rounded lobes; lined with large teeth
Fruit: long thin capsule with 1 seed

Status: native; common
Habitat: ponderosa --- foothills, montane, subalpine, woodlands
Typical location: Valle Canyon

Each plant only has a few flowers and tends to lean and sprawl. Can be seen trailside hidden by grasses with its reddish, short-hairy stems. Parts of the plant have been used as an astringent and to treat sores.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Richardson's Geranium

Photo: Chick Keller

Richardson's Geranium

Photo: Jerry Oldenettel

Richardson's Geranium, White Cranesbill

GERI (Geranium richardsonii)

Family: Geraniaceae (Geraniums)
Size: 8 - 32 in (20 - 81 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Jun 01 - Oct 20

Flower: simple; white or purple with dark purple veins; 5 septals and 5 pointed petals
Leaf: dicot; palmate-shaped with 5 segments
Fruit: small, straight body with a short style

Status: native; common
Habitat: mixed conifer --- foothills, montane, subalpine, woodlands, meadows
Typical location: Canada Bonita Trail

This geranium is found just below tree line. Its size is sensitive to the amount of moisture it receives. It grows from a tough, woody taproot and will develop rhizomes as it ages.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Common Selfheal

Photo: Chick Keller

Common Selfheal

Photo: Alex Abair

Common Selfheal

Photo: Mitch Manford

Common Selfheal, Heal-all

PRVU (Prunella vulgaris)

Family: Lamiaceae (Mints)
Size: 2 - 12 in (5 - 30 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Jun 22 - Oct 20

Flower: simple; shades of purple, occasionally white; long, fused tube; 2 lips with lower lip toothed
Leaf: dicot; opposite arrangement; oval to lance-shaped with a blunt tip; hairy and shallowly toothed
Fruit: yellowish-brown with dark stripes; 4-sectioned capsule

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: riparian --- montane, subalpine, woodlands, meadows
Typical location: Canada Bonita

This is a very small, slender mint that is often missed. The plant is known as “heal-all” due to its traditional use in healing several ailments such as wounds and throat infections. The leaves can be eaten either cooked or raw. A cold water infusion makes a refreshing drink. The plant propagates both by seed and by creeping stems that root at the nodes. It makes a good ground cover.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Scarlet Globemallow

Photo: Jerry Oldenettel

Scarlet Globemallow

Photo: Akkana Peck

Scarlet Globemallow, Caliche Globemallow, Cowboy's Delight

SPCO (Sphaeralcea coccinea)

Family: Malvaceae (Mallows)
Size: 4 - 16 in (10 - 41 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, subshrub; biennial, perennial
Blooms: Apr 22 - Oct 15

Flower: simple; red to orange; overall saucer-shaped; 5 notched, broad petals in a terminal cluster
Leaf: dicot; palm-like leaves covered in a soft, velvet layer of hair
Fruit: schizocarp with up to 14 single-seeded carpels

Status: native; common
Habitat: pinyon-juniper --- semi-desert, foothills, disturbed areas, woodlands
Typical location: Red Dot Trail

The Scarlet Globemallow spreads by rhizomes and may lean over or stay close to the ground since its stems are not sturdy. It is covered in dense hairs. Deer and other wildlife will graze on the plant, while birds and small animals eat the fruit.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Fendler's Globemallow

Photo: Chick Keller

Fendler's Globemallow

Photo: Jerry Oldenettel

Fendler's Globemallow, Desert Globemallow, Thicket Globemallow

SPFEE (Sphaeralcea fendleri)

Family: Malvaceae (Mallows)
Size: 36 - 48 in (91 - 122 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, subshrub; perennial
Blooms: Jul 14 - Oct 31

Flower: simple; various shades of orange with yellow center; hibiscus-like with 5 petals and 5 septas that are fully opened
Leaf: dicot; gray-green with fine star-shaped hairs; alternate arrangement; lobed or veined with scalloped margins
Fruit: spherical, dehiscent, pie-shaped capsule that splits into segments

Status: native; common
Habitat: pinyon-juniper, ponderosa --- desert, upper elevation foothill canyons, mountain

Sphaeralcea fendleri can be distinguished from other Globemallows by the fact that it does not display distinctive cup-shaped flowers but rather fully opened petals that do not overlap or touch. This plant is an important food source for Bighorn Sheep and it is likely that its large seeds are eaten rodents. Like others Globemallows, Fendler’s produces a mucilaginous compound that can soothe skin irritations and insect bites.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Fireweed

Photo: Craig Martin

Fireweed

Photo: David

Fireweed

Photo: M Feaver

Fireweed, Willow Herb, Great Willow Herb

CHAN9 (Chamerion angustifolium, Epilobium angustifolium)

Family: Onagraceae (Evening Primroses)
Size: 48 - 72 in (122 - 183 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Jul 01 - Sep 23

Flower: simple; pink to purple and white; many flowers in an elongated cluster; 4 sepals with 4 larger petals for each individual flower; curling white stamens, topped by brownish-red anthers
Leaf: dicot; long, narrow lanceolate; grow on lower half of stem; point slightly upwards; 2 outermost veins form a ring
Fruit: slender, elongated capsule with tufts of hair

Status: native; locally common
Habitat: mixed conifer --- forest openings and edges, grasslands, tundra edges, moist meadow
Typical location: Nail Trail, Pajarito Canyon

The common name of Fireweed is derived from the abundance of this plant as a colonizer on burnt sites after forest fires. The flowers are visited by a variety of insects. Many butterflies and moths use it as the host plant for laying their eggs. Several different Native American tribes use the plant as a food source. It has also been used medicinally to treat boils and cuts.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Hooker's Evening Primrose

Photo: James Bailey

Hooker's Evening Primrose

Photo: Chick Keller

Hooker's Evening Primrose

Photo: hikingsandiego

Hooker's Evening Primrose, Western Evening Primose, Hooker's Evening-Primrose

OEEL (Oenothera elata)

Family: Onagraceae (Evening Primroses)
Size: up to 36 in (91 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; biennial, perennial
Blooms: Jun 26 - Oct 31

Flower: simple; yellow, turning orange when wilted the morning after opening; 4 heart-shaped petals with protruding stamens; borne atop long stems
Leaf: dicot; grey-green; white veins; sparse hairs; form a basal rosette
Fruit: narrow, long capsules that taper upward; reddish-brown seeds

Status: native; common
Habitat: disturbed soil, ponderosa --- foothills, montane, wet meadows, roadsides
Typical location: Los Alamos

This is one of the largest and showiest of the evening primroses. The flowers are fragrant and attract many moths and butterflies. The plant produces a large number of seeds which in turn attract a large variety of seed-eating birds. The Zuni people used a poultice of the powdered flower to treat swellings. In addition, various parts of the plant have been used for the treatment of colds.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Scarlet Beeblossom

Photo: Chick Keller

Scarlet Beeblossom

Photo: Craig martin

Scarlet Beeblossom

Photo: Ellen Hildebrandt

Scarlet Beeblossom, Scarlet Gaura, Scarlet Eveningprimrose

GACO5 (Oenothera suffrutescens)

Family: Onagraceae (Evening Primroses)
Size: up to 12 in (30 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, subshrub; perennial
Blooms: Jul 14 - Oct 20

Flower: simple; white to pink; four spoon-shaped petals that start out as white and turn pink with ages; four long, stiff sepals which open and fall outward; spike inflorescence
Leaf: dicot; long, linear; margins wavey; alternate arrangement
Fruit: short, woody ice-cream cone-shaped capsule

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: pinyon-juniper --- dry prairies, roadsides, disturbed sites

Colony forming plant with several stems branched near the base. The color change in the flowers can occur as quickly as over a single day. This plant is found across much of North America, in particular the western and central regions.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Wholeleaf Indian Paintbrush

Photo: Craig Martin

Wholeleaf Indian Paintbrush

Photo: Craig Martin

Wholeleaf Indian Paintbrush, Squawfleather, Southwestern Indian Paintbrush, Cola de Borrejo

CAIN14 (Castilleja integra)

Family: Orobanchaceae (Broomrapes)
Size: up to 16 in (41 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, subshrub; perennial
Blooms: Apr 18 - Oct 20

Flower: simple; Red or orange specialized leaves or bracts form on spikes; flowers are a small green tubes protruding above the bracts
Leaf: dicot; Narrow, unlobed, undivided; tinges of light purple on some
Fruit: capsule filled with numerous seed

Status: native; common
Habitat: pinyon-juniper --- foothills, montane, shrublands, woodlands
Typical location: Canyon Rim Trail paved section, Quemazon Trail

The common name "wholeleaf" refers to the lack of lobes on the leaves and bracts. The plant’s roots will grow and penetrate those of other plants in order to obtain nutrients. The stems of the plant have white hairs. The Zuni used to mix the roots with minerals to make a black dye.

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Wyoming Indian Paintbrush

Photo: Chick Keller

Wyoming Indian Paintbrush

Photo: Terry Foxx

Wyoming Indian Paintbrush, Wyoming Paintbrush

CALI4 (Castilleja linariifolia)

Family: Orobanchaceae (Broomrapes)
Size: up to 40 in (102 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, subshrub; perennial
Blooms: Jun 26 - Oct 20

Flower: simple; red bracts cut deeply on one side; yellow-green flower tubes, often hidden except for the tip; torch-like spikes
Leaf: dicot; narrow and unlobed; edges folded upward
Fruit: ovoid capsule with many tiny seeds

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: ponderosa --- foothills, montane, shrublands, woodlands
Typical location: Middle Quemazon Trail on north side

This species of paintbrush is distinguished from other paintbrushes by preferring a lower elevation and having narrower leaves. It is the state flower of Wyoming and grows across most of the west. Its roots grow until they touch the roots of other plants. Then the paintbrush’s roots will penetrate the roots of the other plants, taking nutrients from the host plant.

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Giant Red Indian Paintbrush

Photo: PEEC

Giant Red Indian Paintbrush

Photo: Chick Keller

Giant Red Indian Paintbrush

Photo: twr61

Giant Red Indian Paintbrush, Scarlet Indian Paintbrush, Meadow Paintbrush

CAMI12 (Castilleja miniata)

Family: Orobanchaceae (Broomrapes)
Size: up to 20 in (51 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, subshrub; perennial
Blooms: Jun 26 - Oct 20

Flower: simple; green with red bracts; large red structures along the top part of the tall stems are modified leaves; flower is small tubes at the top
Leaf: dicot; fairly wide; pointed; 3 veins
Fruit: oblong capsule with numerous seeds; splits lengthwise to expose seeds

Status: native; common
Habitat: mixed conifer --- montane, subalpine, meadows
Typical location: Canada Bonita Trail

The plant is one of the most common species of this large genus. The plant is usually unbranched and the upper red bracts are often cut into three segments. Though the upper bracts are mostly red, they can be seen in pink or orange.

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Beardlip Penstemon

Photo: Russell Pfau

Beardlip Penstemon

Photo: Nathan Taylor

Beardlip Penstemon, Red Beardtongue, Scarlet Bugler

PEBA2 (Penstemon barbatus)

Family: Plantaginaceae (Speedwells)
Size: 24 - 36 in (61 - 91 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Jun 08 - Oct 31

Flower: simple; red; tubular flowers with two lips; lower lip divided into 3 lobes and bent backwards; flowers dropped slightly; arranged in pairs
Leaf: dicot; slender, long linear to oval; less frequent on the upper stems
Fruit: capsules that split open longitudinally to release several brown seeds

Status: native; common
Habitat: ponderosa --- open, rocky soil in mixed conifer forests
Typical location: Dot Grant Trail

Penstemon barbatus is one of the few red flowered penstemons. It gets its species name from ‘barbatus’ meaning bearded which is an allusion to the hairs into the throat of the flower. The leaves and stems may have a pale whitish covering. The plant has been used ceremonially, as a decoration, and for treatment of a variety of issues.

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Scarlet Gilia

Photo: scottmo

Scarlet Gilia

Photo: scottmo

Scarlet Gilia

Photo: twr61

Scarlet Gilia, Skyrocket Gilia, Skunkflower

IPAG (Ipomopsis aggregata)

Family: Polemoniaceae (Phlox)
Size: up to 12 in (30 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; biennial, perennial
Blooms: Jun 27 - Oct 31

Flower: simple; red; long, trumpet-shaped and thin; corolla opens out with 5 pinted lobes, forming a star shape
Leaf: dicot; silver with fine hairs; deeply lobed and concentrated around the base
Fruit: capsules with 5 to 10 sees per locule

Status: native; common
Habitat: ponderosa --- semi-desert, foothills, montane, woodlands, meadows, openings
Typical location: Valle Canyon

Pronounced “JILL-ee-uh”. Occurs at a range of elevations. It is pollinated most commonly by long-tongued moths and hummingbirds. Its common name of “skyrocket” relates to the fact that the lobes of the flowers curve back as if blown by rocketing through the air.

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Flaxflowered Ipomopsis

Photo: Alex Abair

Flaxflowered Ipomopsis

Photo: Akkana Peck

Flaxflowered Ipomopsis

Photo: Patrick Alexander

Flaxflowered Ipomopsis, Flaxflowered Gilia

IPLO2 (Ipomopsis longiflora)

Family: Polemoniaceae (Phlox)
Size: 10 - 40 in (25 - 102 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; annual, biennial
Blooms: Jul 15 - Nov 15

Flower: simple; blue, purple, and/or white; long, slender corolla tube with 5 petals each ending in a point
Leaf: dicot; grow at intervals along the branches; finely divided; covered with very short hairs
Fruit: oval capsules with multiple seeds

Status: native; common
Habitat: pinyon-juniper --- dry plains, mesas
Typical location: Water Canyon

Moths are attracted to the flowers at night. When not in flower The plant is often difficult to identify when not in flower as its whisky stems and leaves merge with the grass and other undergrowth.

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Apache Plume

Photo: Chick Keller

Apache Plume

Photo: Craig Martin

Apache Plume

Photo: Josip Loncaric

Apache Plume, Ponil

FAPA (Fallugia paradoxa)

Family: Rosaceae (Roses)
Size: 24 - 72 in (61 - 183 cm)
Growth: shrub; perennial
Blooms: Jun 06 - Oct 31

Flower: simple; white flowers on the tips of very dense, intertangle branches; 5 petals
Leaf: dicot; dark green with silver underneath
Fruit: persistent, pink, feathery plumes said to resemble an Apache headdress

Status: native; common
Habitat: pinyon-juniper, ponderosa --- dry, rocky slopes, open woods, dry washes

This multi-branched shrub is deciduous to semi-evergreen with a slender and upright habit.

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Wright's Bird's Beak

Photo: Craig Martin

Wright's Bird's Beak

Photo: Colin Barrows

Wright's Bird's Beak

Photo: Patrick Alexnder

Wright's Bird's Beak, Birdbeak

COWR2 (Cordylanthus wrightii)

Family: Scrophulariaceae (Snapdragons)
Size: up to 18 in (46 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; annual
Blooms: Aug 01 - Sep 30

Flower: simple; pink, purple, or white; beak-shaped; bilaterally arranged at branch ends
Leaf: dicot; pale yellow-green with 3 to 5 finger-like divisions; alternate arrangement
Fruit: short, oblong capsule

Status: native; common
Habitat: grassland, mountain meadow, pinyon-juniper --- White Rock yards and woodlands, or Bandelier mesatops.
Typical location: Burnt Mesa Trail, White Rock

A weedy, scraggly plant. Tends to bloom late in the season when most other flowers have finished.

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Dakota Mock Vervain

Photo: Rebecca Shankland

Dakota Mock Vervain

Photo: Jerry Oldenettel

Dakota Mock Vervain, Dakota Verbena, Prairie Verbena

GLBI2 (Glandularia bipinnatifida)

Family: Verbenaceae (Verbenas)
Size: 9 - 12 in (23 - 30 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; annual, perennial
Blooms: Mar 10 - Jun 01 and Sep 15 - Oct 15
Flower: simple; pink to purple; grow in rounded clusters
Leaf: dicot; finely dissected, into segments; opposite arrangement
Fruit: 4 nutlets enclosed in a calyx

Status: native; locally common
Habitat: pinyon-juniper --- semi-desert, open areas
Typical location: Red Dot Trail, White Rock Canyon

There plants can often can be seen along the trail or in old lava flows. The leaves tend to lean outward from the center as the plant grows and the stems are reddish.

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Davis Mountain Mock Vervain

Photo: annagypsy

Davis Mountain Mock Vervain

Photo: Craig Martin

Davis Mountain Mock Vervain, Desert Verbena, Wright's Verbena

GLWR (Glandularia wrightii)

Family: Verbenaceae (Verbena)
Size: 6 - 12 in (15 - 30 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; annual, perennial
Blooms: Mar 01 - Sep 30

Flower: simple; light to dark pink; narrow tube that opens abruptly into 5 notched lobes with 2 close together
Leaf: dicot; deeply lobed leaves at opposite intervals
Fruit: acorn-shaped seed

Status: native; common
Habitat: montane, mountain meadow --- semi-desert, foothills, woodlands
Typical location: Red Dot Trail

Plant has greenish-red stems that are covered in short hairs and square in cross-section. Stems are erect, though may lean at an angle when flowering. Flowers form round clusters.

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Bigbract Verbena

Photo: Becky Shankland

Bigbract Verbena

Photo: Alex Abair

Bigbract Verbena

Photo: Ellen Hildebrand

Bigbract Verbena, Prostrate Vervain, Carpet Verbena

VEBR (Verbena bracteata)

Family: Verbenaceae (Verbenas)
Size: up to 12 in (30 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Jul 01 - Oct 12

Flower: simple; blue to purple; small tubular flowers; flowers in spikes or on branching tips
Leaf: dicot; oblanceolate; coarsely serrated; not lobed
Fruit: oval and hairy; splits open when ripe

Status: native; common
Habitat: disturbed soil --- Typically seen on road edges.
Typical location: White Rock

A low, spreading plant with small flowers that are hard to see. Used as a dermatological aid by southwestern American indigenous peoples.

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