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 179 of 179 flowers.
Red Elderberry

Photo: Chick Keller

Red Elderberry

Photo: Craig Martin

Red Elderberry

Photo: Jerry Oldenettel

Red Elderberry, Red Elder, Red-berried Elder

SARA2 (Sambucus racemosa)

Family: Adoxaceae (Moschatel)
Size: up to 240 in (610 cm)
Growth: shrub, tree; perennial
Blooms: May 09 - Jul 22

Flower: simple; white; dome-shaped clusters of many tiny flowers; fragrant
Leaf: dicot; opposite, pinnate-compound leaves with 5 to 7 leaflets
Fruit: clusters of bright to dark red berries; seeds distributed by birds and mammals

Status: native; locally common
Habitat: mixed conifer --- woodland, wet meadow, prairie, field
Typical location: Pajarito Canyon second crossing

This plant is typically seen as a low-growing, shredding shrub. It sprouts from the root crown and/or rhizomes. The berries attract and are readily consumed by wildlife. In contrast, due to their sour taste, they and not usually eaten raw by humans but may used in the preparation of wine, jelly, and pies.

Info    Photos   Distribution   Tree Guide
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   
Constance's Spring Parsley

Photo: Craig Martin

Constance's Spring Parsley

Photo: Craig Martin

Constance's Spring Parsley

Photo: Craig Martin

Constance's Spring Parsley, Wafer Parsnip

CYCO22 (Cymopterus constancei)

Family: Apiaceae (Carrots)
Size: up to 5 in (13 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Mar 15 - Apr 15

Flower: simple; white and pink; branched flower heads surrounded by papery bracts
Leaf: dicot; gray-green; 3 to 5 pairs of lobed leaflets
Fruit: made up of 5 tan to purplish wings that are clustered close together

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: pinyon-juniper --- semi-desert, woodlands, shrublands
Typical location: Overlook Park, White Rock Rim Trail

Parsley-like leaves are tasty in spring salads. One can find all stages of development on the same plant.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Common Cowparsnip

Photo: Craig Martin

Common Cowparsnip

Photo: Craig Martin

Common Cowparsnip

Photo: Ellen Hildebrandt

Common Cowparsnip, Cow Parsnip, American Cow-Parsnip

HEMA80 (Heracleum maximum)

Family: Apiaceae (Carrots)
Size: up to 84 in (213 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Jun 21 - Sep 10

Flower: simple; white; large flat-topped clusters of small flowers; outer flowers tending to be larger than this closer to the center
Leaf: dicot; very large leaves, often 12 inches (30 cm) across; 3 lobed leaflets; leaves smaller the further up the stem
Fruit: oval, flat, wide seeds that smell like parsley

Status: native; rare
Habitat: riparian --- montane, subalpine, woodlands, meadows, streamsides

While there are a large number of Heracleum species worldwide, Heracleum maximum is the only species that is native to North America and can be found from coast to coast. The juice of this aromatic plant contains a chemical that can cause irritation and potential blistering of the skin. Despite this, though, the young plant has been used by Native Americans for food and in a variety of medicinal treatments. Also the hollow plant stems can be made into a deer call.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Alpine False Springparsley

Photo: Chick Keller

Alpine False Springparsley

Photo: Terry Foxx

Alpine False Springparsley, Mountain Parsley

PSMO (Pseudocymopterus montanus, Cymopterus lemmonii)

Family: Apiaceae (Carrots)
Size: 12 - 20 in (30 - 51 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Apr 24 - Aug 15

Flower: simple; yellow; fan arrangement, round and flat topped on the tip of a long flowering stalk
Leaf: dicot; very variable in leaf shape and size
Fruit: oblong capsules with well-developed lateral wings and 2 seeds

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

The size and morphology of this plant depends on the elevation at which it is growing. It was originally classified in the genus Cymopterus or “waved wing” for which it is a close look alike. It is now classified as Pseudocymopterus or “False Cymopterus”. The roots and leaves of this plant have used as a food source by some Native Americans.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Antelope Horn Milkweed

Photo: Stan Shebs

Antelope Horn Milkweed

Photo: Chick Keller

Antelope Horn Milkweed

Photo: Jerry Oldenettel

Antelope Horn Milkweed, Spider Milkweed, Green-flowered Milkweed

ASAS (Asclepias asperula)

Family: Apocynoideae (Dogbanes)
Size: 12 - 24 in (30 - 61 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: May 27 - Jul 19

Flower: simple; green and white; spherical flower clusters
Leaf: dicot; lanceolate; open, airy network in alternate arrangement
Fruit: growing seed follicles resemble antelope horns

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: pinyon-juniper, ponderosa --- semi-desert, foothills, woodlands, openings, washes

Plant can have either an upright or a sprawling habit. Stems are covered with minute hairs.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Butterfly Milkweed

Photo: Christina M. Selby

Butterfly Milkweed

Photo: Janie O'Rourke

Butterfly Milkweed

Photo: Sandy Wolkenberg

Butterfly Milkweed, Orange Milkweed, Pleurisy Root

ASTU (Asclepias tuberosa)

Family: Apocynoideae (Dogbanes)
Size: 18 - 24 in (46 - 61 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Jun 23 - Jul 17

Flower: simple; yellow-orange to bright orange; a showy flowerhead --- large flower cluster at the top of a stem
Leaf: dicot; long, pointed, smooth on the edges; mostly alternative spacing
Fruit: grayish-green pod covered in short hairs

Status: native; rare
Habitat: ponderosa --- semi-desert, canyon washes, roadsides
Typical location: Upper Crossing Trail into Frijoles Canyon

As the name implies, this plant attracts butterflies, in particular, monarchs and queens. Also attracts other pollinators like bumble bees and honey bees. Its tough root was chewed by Native Americans as a remedy for pulmonary ailments.

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   
Feathery False Lily of the Valley

Photo: Chick Keller

Feathery False Lily of the Valley

Photo: Christina M. Selby

Feathery False Lily of the Valley

Photo: Ilja Fescenko

Feathery False Lily of the Valley, Feathery False Solomon's Seal

MARA7 (Maianthemum racemosum)

Family: Asparagaceae (Asparagus)
Size: up to 5 in (13 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: May 24 - Jun 30

Flower: simple; white; branched pyramid-shaped cluster at the end of the stem
Leaf: monocot; lance-shaped with pointed tips; most are stalkless
Fruit: green berries that turn dull red and then bright red

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: mixed conifer --- montane, subalpine, woodlands
Typical location: Valle Canyon

This “False Solomon’s Seal” is distinguished from the “True Solomon’s Seals” by the flowers which are located at the end of the stem for the former and below the leaves along the stem for the latter. It is a shade-loving plant.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Narrowleaf Yucca

Photo: Patrick Alexander

Narrowleaf Yucca

Photo: Mateo Boneo

Narrowleaf Yucca

Photo: sea-kangaroo

Narrowleaf Yucca, Narrow-leaf Yucca, Fine-leaf Yucca

YUAN2 (Yucca angustissima)

Family: Asparagaceae (Asparagus)
Size: up to 72 in (183 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, shrub; perennial
Blooms: Apr 30 - Jun 01

Flower: simple; white, sometimes with green or brown tints; form along an unbranched, 3 to 6 ft (1 to 2 m) tall stalk
Leaf: monocot; dark green; long, thin and narrow; topped with a needle-like spine
Fruit: erect green capsules turning brown and eventually spitting open large white to brown pod

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: pinyon-juniper --- sandy soils and rocky hillsides up to 7,000 ft (2,100 m)

These plants may remain as a solitary roster or develop a short stems and form large clusters. There are long, curling, white filaments grow from the edges of the leave. The Narrowleaf Yucca is pollinated by the yucca moth. The larvae of this moth feeds on the seeds of the plant. It has been used by Native Americans to treat snake and insect bites.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Banana Yucca

Photo: Parker Hopkins

Banana Yucca

Photo: Yvonne Keller

Banana Yucca

Photo: John Brew

Banana Yucca, Broad Leave Yucca

YUBA (Yucca baccata)

Family: Asparagaceae (Asparagus)
Size: 36 - 60 in (91 - 152 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, subshrub; perennial
Blooms: Apr 23 - Jun 23

Flower: simple; white tinged with red; large cluster hanging from a single, tall stem
Leaf: monocot; sword-shaped; thick and rigid; spine-tipped
Fruit: green to dark purple; banana-like in shape

Status: native; common
Habitat: pinyon-juniper --- semi-desert, foothills, woodlands, canyons, openings
Typical location: Deer Trap Mesa

This is the New Mexico state flower. The leaves were used for cord, the roots for soap, and the flower and fruit for food.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Navajo Yucca

Photo: Patrick Alexander

Navajo Yucca

Photo: Craig Martin

Navajo Yucca

Photo: CW Wood

Navajo Yucca

YUBAN (Yucca baileyi, Yucca navajoa)

Family: Asparagaceae (Asparagus)
Size: up to 72 in (183 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, subshrub; perennial
Blooms: May 19 - Jun 26

Flower: simple; white with purplish; grown on the end of very tall stalk
Leaf: monocot; evergreen; long, thin, pointed leaves
Fruit: large white to brown pod

Status: native; common
Habitat: pinyon-juniper --- mountains, adjacent woodlands and grasslands
Typical location: Canyon Rim Trail paved section

Yucca baileyi is quite similar to several other species of yucca in the area but can be distinguished by its tendency to grow in tight colonies at higher elevations than other yuccas. Fibers used for making various items. The roots can be used to make soap.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Common Yarrow

Photo: Chick Keller

Common Yarrow

Photo: Craig Martin

Common Yarrow, Western Yarrow, Milfoil

ACMI2 (Achillea millefolium)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: up to 20 in (51 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Jun 08 - Sep 10

Flower: composite; white with yellow center; flat-topped or dome-shaped flowerhead clusters; long lasting
Leaf: dicot; long leaflets in an alternate arrangement; further leaflet divisions give fern-like appearance; strong spicy aroma
Fruit: capsules with thick margins and no hairs

Status: naturalized plant; common
Habitat: ponderosa --- semi-desert, foothills, montane, subalpine, meadows, woodlands, shrublands

The Common Yarrow was introduced into North America from Europe and Asia during colonial times. It has since been naturalized throughout the US. It is a common cultivar and can be seen in gardens in a range of colors including reds and yellows. The genus Achillea was named for Achilles who treated soldiers’s wound during the Trojan War. In fact, Common Yarrow has a variety of medicinal uses including the treatment of wounds, burns, colds, fevers, and headaches. It has even been made into a beer.

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   
Rose Heath

Photo: Chick Keller

Rose Heath

Photo: Jerry Oldenettel

Rose Heath

Photo: Ellen Hildebrandt

Rose Heath, Sand Aster, Smallflower Aster

CHER2 (Chaetopappa ericoides)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: 2 - 5 in (5 - 13 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, subshrub; perennial
Blooms: May 19 - Jun 19

Flower: composite; white; small radiate flowerheads; single head on a stem; immature flowers have pink tinge
Leaf: dicot; green; small and sparse; alternative spacing; may have bristles on edges
Fruit: numerous small, flattened, hairy fruit is tipped with numerous minute, white, barbed bristles

Status: native; locally common
Habitat: pinyon-juniper --- semi-desert, shrublands, open areas
Typical location: Deer Trap Mesa

This plant grows in clumps with many, woody and hairy stems. Flower petals commonly curl downward in the evening and straighten with morning. An infusion made from the whole plant was used for rheumatism.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Chicory

Photo: Jerry Oldenettel

Chicory

Photo: Craig Martin

Chicory

Photo: Sheri

Chicory, Common Chicory

CIIN (Cichorium intybus)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: 10 - 40 in (25 - 102 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; biennial, perennial
Blooms: Aug 05 - Aug 31

Flower: composite; blue to purple; petals have toothed squared off ends; form clusters on the upper branches; blooms in the morning and closes later in the day
Leaf: dicot; lance-shaped; small, sparse, alternate spacing; margins either smooth or slightly toothed
Fruit: long, dark brown and wedge shaped; contains one seed

Status: naturalized plant; uncommon
Habitat: disturbed soil --- foothills, fields, disturbed areas
Typical location: White Rock

Introduced from Europe. The leaves of the plant resemble those of dandelion but they are larger and darker green. Primarily found at lower elevations. Cultivated varieties of Chicory are used in cooking.

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   
Early Bluetop Fleabane

Photo: Chick Keller

Early Bluetop Fleabane

Photo: deeklyn

Early Bluetop Fleabane, Early Fleabane

ERVE2 (Erigeron vetensis, Erigeron porteri)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: up to 20 in (51 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Apr 24 - May 31

Flower: composite; pale blue to purple, sometimes white; rays surrounding yellow disc florets; 1 flowerhead per stem
Leaf: dicot; linear to oblong; smaller as move away from the plant center
Fruit: cypsela - single seeded fruit

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: ponderosa --- foothills, montane, subalpine
Typical location: Kinnikinnick Park

This fleabane grows in small clumps in open, dry areas. The plant is covered with sparse hairs.

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   
Fivenerve Helianthella

Photo: JA Bain

Fivenerve Helianthella

Photo: Craig Martin

Fivenerve Helianthella, Nodding Dwarf Sunflower, Nodding Helianthella, Wood Sunflower

HEQU2 (Helianthella quinquenervis)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: up to 60 in (152 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Jul 14 - Aug 18

Flower: composite; yellow; 1 flowerhead per stem, hanging slightly; 8-21 bright yellow rays surrounding numerous darker yellow disc florets
Leaf: dicot; pointed, narrow but long; lance-shaped; 3 to 5 prominent veins; numerous basal leaves, few stem leaves
Fruit: small dark brown capsules with short hairs

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: montane --- subalpine, woodlands, streamsides
Typical location: Camp May, Canada Bonita

The genus name of Helianthella is a diminutive form of the closely related sunflower genus Helianthus . Helianthella quinquenervis has been known as the “Little Sunflower” despite the fact that it quite tall and its flowers can be up to 4 in (10 cm) across. The plant can be most often seen scattered about the landscape.

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   
Owl's Claws

Photo: Chick Keller

Owl's Claws

Photo: Craig Martin

Owl's Claws, Owlsclaws, Sneezeweed, Orange Sneezeweed,

HYHO (Hymenoxys hoopesii)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: 12 - 18 in (30 - 46 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Jun 26 - Sep 10

Flower: composite; yellow to orange; 14 to 26 long ray florets surrounding a slightly raised disc; clusters with several flowerheads
Leaf: dicot; lower leaves oblong; upper leaves lance-shaped; prominent central white vein
Fruit: narrow oblong to pyramidal-shaped capsule with sharp scales

Status: native; locally common
Habitat: montane, mountain meadow --- montane, subalpine, alpine, meadows
Typical location: Canada Bonita

Found at higher elevations. The stems of this plant are white and woody below the flowers. Despite its name, the plant does not make you sneeze, but rather refers to an allergic irritation caused by the pollen. A preparation made from the plant’s roots can be used to treat rheumatic pains and stomach disorders.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Colorado Rubberweed

Photo: Chick Keller

Colorado Rubberweed

Photo: Jerry Oldenettel

Colorado Rubberweed, Richard's Bitterweed, Pingue Rubberweed

HYRIF (Hymenoxys richardsonii)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: up to 14 in (36 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, subshrub; perennial
Blooms: Jun 26 - Sep 17

Flower: composite; yellow with orange; petals with three-toothed tips that droop when the plant ages; disc florets form a dome
Leaf: dicot; 3 linear lobes; concentrated near base with a scattering of small resin glands
Fruit: achene topped with white translucent scales

Status: native; common
Habitat: ponderosa --- dry, open often rocky hillsides and plains
Typical location: Anniversary Trail

Colorado Rubberweed has long stems and is woolly at the base of the lowest leaves. The roots have a type of latex that can be used as a dressing on sores and rashes. The leaves and stems are poisonous, potentially even being deadly to livestock.

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   
Fendler's Ragwort

Photo: Chick Keller

Fendler's Ragwort

Photo: Craig Martin

Fendler's Ragwort, Fendler's Groundsel, Notchleaf Senecio

PAFE4 (Packera fendleri, Senecio fendleri)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: 4 - 16 in (10 - 41 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: May 30 - Aug 18

Flower: composite; yellow ray and disc florets; 6 to 8 ray florets
Leaf: dicot; deeply notched almost to mid-rib; hairy; grow mostly at the base
Fruit: tufted single seeds

Status: native; common
Habitat: mixed conifer, ponderosa --- slopes, dry rocky or gravelly soils, along streams, open forests, disturbed sites
Typical location: Valle Canyon

The plant is abundant at a variety of elevations and habitats, so much so that it almost seems like a weed in some areas. It’s hairy stems were used by the Navajo for a variety of medicinal uses.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
New Mexico Groundsel

Photo: Chick Keller

New Mexico Groundsel

Photo: Dan Beckman

New Mexico Groundsel

PANEN (Packera neomexicana, Senecio neomexicanus)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: 12 - 24 in (30 - 61 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, subshrub; perennial
Blooms: Mar 09 - Jul 10

Flower: composite; yellow; 5 to 14 ray florets around 40 or more disc florets; clusters of between 3 and 20 flowerheads
Leaf: dicot; wider at the tip than base; may have teeth and hairs; mostly located around the base
Fruit: white puffs of hairs attached to seeds similar to dandelions

Status: native; common
Habitat: ponderosa --- foothills, montane, subalpine, woodlands, openings
Typical location: Perimeter Trail to Water Canyon

Plants are often crowded together with an unusual abundance of flowers for each plant. Plants can often be fairly variable.

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   
Cutleaf Coneflower

Photo: Chick Keller

Cutleaf Coneflower

Photo: Chick Keller

Cutleaf Coneflower

Photo: Mark Kluge

Cutleaf Coneflower, Green-headed Coneflower, Tall Coneflower, Golden Glow

RULA3 (Rudbeckia laciniata)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: 24 - 84 in (61 - 213 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, subshrub; perennial
Blooms: Jul 12 - Aug 27

Flower: composite; yellow with brown conical center that is green when immature; daisy-like structure with 6 to 12 ray florets that droop slightly; central cone made up of numerous tubular disc florets
Leaf: dicot; large leaves up to 12 in by 12 in (30 cm by 30 cm); 3 to 7 large, elliptical lobes with smooth or toothed edges
Fruit: each disk floret is replaced by an oblong achene with a crown of tiny blunt teeth at its apex

Status: native; common
Habitat: riparian --- stream banks, wet meadows, woodland
Typical location: Pajarito Canyon

The Cutleaf Coneflower has light green stems that taper slightly. One can often find clonal colonies of these plants that form from long rhizomes. The foliage may be slightly poisonous and therefore is not usually eaten by mammalian herbivores but the seeds are consumed by some birds. Cultivars of Rudbeckia laciniata are often grown as ornamentals and are used in many floral bouquets.

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   
Wooton's Ragwort

Photo: Chick Keller

Wooton's Ragwort

Photo: Craig Martin

Wooton's Ragwort, Wooton's Senecio

SEWO (Senecio wootonii)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: up to 24 in (61 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, subshrub; perennial
Blooms: Apr 01 - Jun 18

Flower: composite; yellow; on stems with few leaves terminating in a flowerhead; one long petal per flowerhead
Leaf: dicot; have small teeth and long stalks with wings
Fruit: achenes, ribbed and hairless

Status: native; common
Habitat: ponderosa --- montane, woodlands, openings
Typical location: Quemazon Trail

When flower buds first appear they seem to only have disk flowers but the ray flowers appear with time. Plants in full sun bear a large number of flowers.

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   
Thrift Mock Goldenweed

Photo: Akkana Peck

Thrift Mock Goldenweed

Photo: Akkana Peck

Thrift Mock Goldenweed, Thrifty Goldenweed, Ring Grass Sunflower

STAR10 (Stenotus armerioides)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: up to 10 in (25 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Apr 30 - Jun 30

Flower: composite; yellow; 5 to 15 rays with 20 to 40 disc florets
Leaf: dicot; presents as a mixture of old, dried leaves and bright green, thin, vertical leaves
Fruit: capsule covered with fine silky hairs

Status: native; locally common
Habitat: pinyon-juniper --- open wooded areas
Typical location: Deer Trap Mesa

Look for the shiny, sticky-looking (but not actually sticky) base beneath the flower (the penuncle). The common name of Ring Grass Sunflower comes from the plant’s circular growth pattern. As the plants age, they grow outward in a ring with the inner parts dying off.

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   
Perkysue

Photo: Chick Keller

Perkysue

Photo: Craig Martin

Perkysue, Perky Sue

TEAR4 (Tetraneuris argentea, Hymenoxys argentea )

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

Flower: composite; yellow; found on the top of long leafless stalks; a dozen or so notched ray florets stick out very straight from the central disc florets
Leaf: dicot; fuzzy silver leaves
Fruit: achenes topped with scales

Status: native; common
Habitat: pinyon-juniper, ponderosa --- niches in solid rock areas
Typical location: Lower Quemazon Trail

Hearty plant that is the earliest blooming yellow daisy. Has been used heartburn and in a lotion for eczema.

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   
Colorado Greenthread

Photo: Jerry Oldenettel

Colorado Greenthread

Photo: Jerry Oldenettel

Colorado Greenthread, Rio Grande Greenthread, Hopi Tea Greenthread, Navajo Tea

THMEA (Thelesperma megapotamicum)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: 6 - 24 in (15 - 61 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; annual
Blooms: Jul 01 - Sep 15

Flower: composite; yellow or orange; located on tips of branching stems; usually disc florets only; bracts surrounding the flowerhead have yellow or white margins
Leaf: dicot; grey-green; alternate orientation; mostly compound with linear segments
Fruit: achene topped with bristles

Status: native; common
Habitat: canyon, disturbed soil, grassland --- open areas in pinyon-juniper
Typical location: White Rock

Like its taller cousin, Cota, Greenthread can be made into an herbal tea and a yellow dye. You can tell Greenthread from Cota by its grey-green vegetation and bare, taller stems, and its flowers have only disk flowers, no ray flowers. Megapotamicum means "big river" -- i.e. the Rio Grande.

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   
Stemless Townsend Daisy

Photo: Jerry Oldenettel

Stemless Townsend Daisy

Photo: Chick Keller

Stemless Townsend Daisy

Photo: Craig Martin

Stemless Townsend Daisy, Easter Daisy, Silky Townsend Daisy

TOEX2 (Townsendia exscapa)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: 1 - 7 in (3 - 18 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Mar 10 - May 19

Flower: composite; white to pinkish petals surrounding a yellow center
Leaf: dicot; gray-green; spatulate in shape; usually hairy
Fruit: achene with fine, slender bristles on top

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: pinyon-juniper --- grasslands, sage; plains, valleys
Typical location: Burnt Mesa Trail

Plant grows from a woody taproot from which the leaves and flowers grow directly. Thus, the plant is stemless or nearly so.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Yellow Salsify

Photo: Brandt Magic

Yellow Salsify

Photo: Don Lorie

Yellow Salsify

Photo: Chuck Sexton

Yellow Salsify, Western Salsify, Oyster Plant, Goatsbeard

TRDU (Tragopogon dubius)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: 12 - 24 in (30 - 61 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; annual, biennial
Blooms: May 19 - Sep 10

Flower: composite; yellow; single terminal flowerhead on a long stalk; outer florets have 5 small teeth at tip
Leaf: dicot; basal and along the stems; grass-like but wider with pointed tips
Fruit: long, thin brown seeds with a whitish beak attached a fluffy tannish-white seed head

Status: naturalized plant; common
Habitat: disturbed soil --- foothills, montane, openings, woodlands, fields

Yellow Salsify was introduced from Europe and is naturalized across most of the United States. It is thought that it was brought into the country because the taproot is edible, tasting a bit like oysters. It is considered to be an invasive weed in many areas but has little economic impact. Overall, it is similar to a dandelion but much larger.

Info    Photos   Distribution   Weed Guide
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   
Spiny Goldenweed

Photo: Chick Keller

Spiny Goldenweed

Photo: Patrick Alexander

Spiny Goldenweed

Photo: Patrick Alexander

Spiny Goldenweed, Lacy Tansyaster, Cutleaf Goldenweed, Lacy Sleepy Daisy, Wooly Goldenweed

MAPI (Xanthisma spinulosum, Machaeranthera pinnatifida)

Family: Asteraceae (Daisies)
Size: 10 - 20 in (25 - 51 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, subshrub; perennial
Blooms: Jun 11 - Aug 02

Flower: composite; bright yellow; 16+ florets with numerous disc florets; flowerheads can be singular or in small clusters on the tips of stiff branches
Leaf: dicot; silvery green; thin and deeply lobed with dense white hairs/spines
Fruit: whitish tan, hairy, ovoid capsules

Status: native; common
Habitat: pinyon-juniper --- semi-desert, open areas, hillsides
Typical location: Red Dot Trail

Spiny Goldenweed is a highly variable plant. Last years’s flowers are often present until the new ones appear. It may be a small plant but it spreads rapids so that it can blanket large areas up to several acres in yellow flowers. Xanthisma spinulosum is an interesting scientifically as it is the species with the lowest number of chromosomes of any plant investigated so far, with only 4 chromosomes.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Fendler's Barberry

Photo: Chick Keller

Fendler's Barberry

Photo: Terry Foxx

Fendler's Barberry, Colorado Barberry

BEFE (Berberis fendleri)

Family: Berberidaceae (Barberries)
Size: 40 - 80 in (102 - 203 cm)
Growth: shrub; perennial
Blooms: May 19 - Jun 22

Flower: simple; yellow; grows in clusters with 15 flowers each
Leaf: dicot; simple, green spoon-shaped leaves
Fruit: red, juicy, oblong fruit

Status: native; locally common
Habitat: ponderosa --- slopes and canyon bottoms at lower elevations

This shrub has spiny stems and grows in colonies. Like other barberries, the fruit is edible and has antibacterial properties, used for enteric infections.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Creeping Barberry

Photo: Jerry Oldenettel

Creeping Barberry

Photo: Craig Martin

Creeping Barberry

Photo: freejinn

Creeping Barberry, Creeping Oregon Grape

MARE11 (Mahonia repens)

Family: Berberidaceae (Barberries)
Size: 12 - 24 in (30 - 61 cm)
Growth: shrub, subshrub; perennial
Blooms: Mar 15 - May 30

Flower: simple; yellow; long clusters of up to 50 flowers; 6 petals
Leaf: dicot; bluish green with some leaves in pinks and oranges
Fruit: matte blue berries

Status: native; common
Habitat: ponderosa --- foothills, montane, subalpine, woodlands
Typical location: Satch Cowan Trail

A sprawling evergreen with small fragrant flowers. The berries attract birds. In the fall the leaves of this groundcover turn bronze.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
James' Cryptantha

Photo: Chick Keller

James' Cryptantha

Photo: Craig Martin

James' Cryptantha, James' Hiddenflower, James' Catseye

CRCIJ (Cryptantha cinerea, Oreocarya suffruticosa)

Family: Boraginaceae (Borages)
Size: up to 4 in (10 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, subshrub; perennial
Blooms: Apr 15 - Sep 10

Flower: simple; white with yellow corolla tube; dozen of clusters per plant that elongate with age
Leaf: dicot; narrow, linear leaves; sparse hairs
Fruit: four identical smooth nutlets

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: pinyon-juniper, ponderosa --- open areas, semi-desert
Typical location: Anniversary Trail

One of the most shrub-like of the genus with many branches and bristly hairs. Found in open areas below 8,000 ft (2,400 m).

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Thicksepal Catseye

Photo: Craig Martin

Thicksepal Catseye

Photo: J.N. Stuart

Thicksepal Catseye

Photo: Andrey Zharkikh

Thicksepal Catseye, Thicksepal Cryptantha, Thicksepal Hiddenflower

CRCR3 (Cryptantha crassisepala)

Family: Boraginaceae (Borages)
Size: up to 4 in (10 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; annual
Blooms: Apr 01 - May 31

Flower: simple; tiny; white with a little yellow; 5 petals
Leaf: dicot; oblanceolate;hairy; form a rosette about an inch across
Fruit: 4 nutlets, one taller than the others

Status: native; common
Habitat: scrubland --- sandy soils in semi-desert

Used by Navajo as a lotion for itching and muscle fatigue.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Manyflower Stickseed

Photo: Chick Keller

Manyflower Stickseed

Photo: Jerry Oldenettel

Manyflower Stickseed

Photo: Craig Martin

Manyflower Stickseed, Many-Flower Stickseed, Manyflowered Stickseed, False Forget-Me-Not

HAFL2 (Hackelia floribunda)

Family: Boraginaceae (Borages)
Size: 12 - 40 in (30 - 102 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; biennial, perennial
Blooms: Jul 14 - Sep 10

Flower: simple; blue with yellow center; tiny; funnel-shaped; 5 lobes around a central tube; clusters of flowers on branched stem
Leaf: dicot; large, thin; alternate arrangement; lower leaves have stalks; upper ones do not
Fruit: tiny, flattened nutlets, bristly along the edge

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: mixed conifer --- open areas, montane
Typical location: Valle Canyon

Hackelia Floribunda is a lush herb with hairy stems that tend to grow at a 45 degree angle. The seeds are quite prickly contributing to the plant’s common name of Stickweed. The seeds tend to cling to pieces of clothing and potentially can cause some irritation. There have been reports of Native Americans using the plant for medicinal purposes.

Info    Photos   Distribution   Weed Guide
Flatspine Stickseed

Photo: Marion Stelts

Flatspine Stickseed

Photo: Craig Martin

Flatspine Stickseed

Photo: Ellen Hildebrandt

Flatspine Stickseed, Flatspine Sheepburr, Western Sticktight

LAOC3 (Lappula occidentalis)

Family: Boraginaceae (Borages)
Size: up to 32 in (81 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; annual, biennial
Blooms: Apr 15 - May 30

Flower: simple; light blue to white; small and hairy; radially symmetrical; 5 petals
Leaf: dicot; lance-shaped with pointed end at the bottom; alternate arrangement; hairy
Fruit: star-shaped nutlets

Status: native; common
Habitat: disturbed soil, ponderosa --- semi-desert, foothills, montane, open areas
Typical location: Lower Pueblo Canyon

The seedpods are easily carried away by animals and humans brushing against the plant. The Navajo used the plant in a poultice for insect bites and other skin irritations. Usually found below 8,500 ft (2,500 m).

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Narrowleaf Stoneseed

Photo: Chick Keller

Narrowleaf Stoneseed

Photo: Jerry Oldenettel

Narrowleaf Stoneseed

Photo: Ellen Hildebrandt

Narrowleaf Stoneseed, Fringed Puccoon, Fringed Gromwell

LIIN2 (Lithospermum incisum, Batschia linearifolia)

Family: Boraginaceae (Borages)
Size: up to 12 in (30 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Apr 19 - Jun 01

Flower: simple; yellow, 5 wavy petals; changes with the season: large and wide at first, then becoming trumpet-like with the large petals at the top
Leaf: dicot; simple leaves with alternate arrangement
Fruit: four small fruits, each which contains one seed

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: pinyon-juniper --- semi-desert, foothills, canyons, shrublands, woodlands

Begins to bloom as soon as the leaves first emerge and continues flowering as the plant grows. Roots, stems, and leaves were used medicinally by Native Americans for the treatment of things like swelling and intestinal problems.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Manyflowered Stoneseed

Photo: Chick Keller

Manyflowered Stoneseed

Photo: Jerry Oldenettel

Manyflowered Stoneseed, Yellow Puccoon, Manyflowered Groomwell

LIMU3 (Lithospermum multiflorum)

Family: Boraginaceae (Borages)
Size: 12 - 24 in (30 - 61 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: May 19 - Aug 02

Flower: simple; yellow; trumpet-shaped with 5 lobes
Leaf: dicot; narrow; close together; slightly toothed; alternative arrangement
Fruit: white, shiny nutlets

Status: native; common
Habitat: ponderosa --- montane, subalpine, woodlands, openings

This plant grows in clumps. The upper half is branched with numerous flower clusters. The roots and seeds have been used by some Native American tribes.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Prairie Bluebells

Photo: Meg Swan

Prairie Bluebells

Photo: mckinseyyy

Prairie Bluebells, Narrowleaf Bluebells; Chimingbells

MELA3 (Mertensia lanceolata)

Family: Boraginaceae (Borages)
Size: 8 - 14 in (20 - 36 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: May 10 - Jun 10

Flower: simple; from pale blue to dark purple; bell-shaped, formed of five fused petals; pointed downwards
Leaf: dicot; lanceolate; broad with a prominent center vein; alternate spacing; covered with hair
Fruit: 4 nutlets encased in a persistent calyx

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: ponderosa --- foothills, montane, woodlands, meadows, openings
Typical location: Above Skating Rink

Fresh flowers are light blue and then become more purple as their nectar supply is consumed. Often confused with other short Mertensia species.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Fendler's Rockcress

Photo: Chick Keller

Fendler's Rockcress

Photo: Craig Martin

false flowers

Photo: false flowers by Christina M. Selby

Fendler's Rockcress

ARFEF (Boechera fendleri, Arabis fendleri)

Family: Brassicaceae (Mustards)
Size: up to 4 in (10 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, subshrub; perennial
Blooms: Mar 30 - May 27

Flower: simple; white, turning pink to purple with age; 4 petals
Leaf: dicot; basal leaves broadly oblanceolate with forked hairs; upper leaves smooth
Fruit: pedicels; horizontal or curving downward

Status: native; common
Habitat: ponderosa --- rocky slopes in pine forests, pinyon-juniper woodlands, scrub oak

This is tall, slender plants that is often attacked by a rust fungus (see bottom photo). The fungal hyphae germinate and then parasitize nutrients from the host plant. The fungus causes the plant to produce both a scent and nectar to attract insects that then carry the fungus spores to another plant.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Crossflower

Photo: Rebecca Shankland

Crossflower

Photo: J.N. Stuart

Crossflower, Blue Mustard, Purple Mustard

CHTE2 (Chorispora tenella)

Family: Brassicaceae (Mustards)
Size: 6 - 24 in (15 - 61 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; annual
Blooms: Mar 24 - Jun 19

Flower: simple; blue to purple; 4 petals; borne on racemes
Leaf: dicot; grey-green; wavy-edged with teeth
Fruit: long pods that curve upward; reddish brown seeds

Status: naturalized plant; locally common
Habitat: disturbed soil --- semi-deserts, foothills, fields, woodlands
Typical location: White Rock

This plant originated in Europe and Asia but was introduced in the US long ago. It is classified as a noxious weed in many areas due to its ability to take over open fields in the early spring. Has a strong musky odor.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Sanddune Wallflower

Photo: Mike Anderson

Sanddune Wallflower

Photo: Chick Keller

Sanddune Wallflower

Photo: Dan Rideout

Sanddune Wallflower, Western Wallflower, Wallflower, Prairie Rocket

ERCA14 (Erysimum capitatum)

Family: Brassicaceae (Mustards)
Size: 12 - 24 in (30 - 61 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; biennial, perennial
Blooms: Apr 15 - Jul 12

Flower: simple; yellow though may show as orange in some areas;4 flat petals; dense, rounded flower cluster on the top of the plant
Leaf: dicot; long, thin leaves; rosette at the bottom of the plant;
Fruit: narrow and nearly vertical seed pods

Status: native; locally common
Habitat: mixed conifer --- semi-desert to alpine, woodlands, meadows

A highly variable species, often one of the first flowers in spring. The plant grows in a small group, often scattered over a large area.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Fendler's Pennycress

Photo: Craig Martin

Fendler's Pennycress

Photo: Alex Abair

Fendler's Pennycress, Alpine Pennycrest, Wild Candytuft

NOMOF (Noccaea fendleri)

Family: Brassicaceae (Mustards)

Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Mar 15 - May 14

Flower: simple; white with a little pink; flowers grow in dense clusters
Leaf: dicot; small, arrow-shaped leaves; evenly spaced and growing on the main stem of the plant
Fruit: two fused carpels with two seeds in each half

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: mixed conifer --- lower montane through alpine, woodlands, openings, meadows
Typical location: Valle Canyon

Grows in large patches with few other plants around. It starts to flower when still close to the ground but the continues to elongate as it grows.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Slimleaf Plainsmustard

Photo: Chick Keller

Slimleaf Plainsmustard

Photo: Chick Keller

Slimleaf Plainsmustard, Pink Windmills

SCLI12 (Schoenocrambe linearifolia, Hesperidanthus linearifolius )

Family: Brassicaceae (Mustards)
Size: 6 - 8 in (15 - 20 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, subshrub; perennial
Blooms: Jun 16 - Sep 20

Flower: simple; pink, purple and/or white; darker veins; located on tips of slender unbranched stems; 4 septals and 4 petals
Leaf: dicot; simple, long; toothed edges; alternate orientation
Fruit: straight, slightly tapered long capsules

Status: native; common
Habitat: pinyon-juniper, ponderosa --- dry slopes, open woodland, canyons, rocky ridges, roadsides
Typical location: Bayo Bench Trail

Tall, slender plant with a few flowers at the top. It has been used in ceremonies by Native Americans and as an eye medicine.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Wright's Thelypody

Photo: Jerry Oldenettel

Wright's Thelypody

Photo: Craig Martin

Wright's Thelypody

THWR (Thelypodium wrightii)

Family: Brassicaceae (Mustards)
Size: 24 - 40 in (61 - 102 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; biennial, perennial
Blooms: Jun 15 - Jul 31

Flower: simple; white, occasionally purple; petals shaped like thick fingers; rounded clusters on tips of branches
Leaf: dicot; lanceolate, lacy leaflets on each side of stem; margins variable
Fruit: long, thin capsules

Status: native; common
Habitat: pinyon-juniper, ponderosa --- rock crevices, pinyon-juniper communities, oak woodlands

It has been said that if the flower heads of Wright's Thelypody were different colors that it would resemble a decorated Christmas tree with rounded balls at the end of its sprawling branches. This species of thelypody lives in the middle to upper elevations. It has been used as a dermatological aid and as an eye medic but the Native Americans.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Tree Cholla

Photo: Akkana Peck

Tree Cholla

Photo: Akkana Peck

Tree Cholla, Walking Stick Cholla, Cane Cholla

CYIM2 (Cylindropuntia imbricata)

Family: Cactaceae (Cacti)
Size: up to 120 in (305 cm)
Growth: shrub, tree; perennial
Blooms: Jun 01 - Jul 31

Flower: simple; pink; large and numerous; flowers are borne on a specific type of stem
Leaf: dicot; leaves have been reduced to thick spines that numerous along the main branches
Fruit: yellow and spineless; persists throughout winter

Status: native; locally common
Habitat: pinyon-juniper --- open areas, scrub
Typical location: White Rock Canyon

The plant’s woody skeleton is often used to make walking sticks, hence the common names. This attractive cactus does not flower every year, but can be spectacular when it does flower. The fruit is edible but is not commonly eaten.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Scarlet Hedgehog Cactus

Photo: J. Howell

Scarlet Hedgehog Cactus

Photo: Akkana Peck

Scarlet Hedgehog Cactus, Claret Cup Cactus

ECCOC (Echinocereus coccineus)

Family: Cactaceae (Cacti)
Size: up to 16 in (41 cm)
Growth: shrub; perennial
Blooms: Apr 20 - Jun 22

Flower: simple; red with green stigma; rounded petals
Leaf: dicot; leaves replaced by spines
Fruit: greenish or yellowish to pinkish

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: pinyon-juniper --- semi-desert, woodlands, openings

The plant grows in sprawling clusters (potentially up to 100 members) with low-to-medium spine cover and somewhat flabby stems.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Pinkflower Hedgehog Cactus

Photo: Peter Alexander

Pinkflower Hedgehog Cactus

Photo: Peter Alexander

Pinkflower Hedgehog Cactus, Fendler's Hedgehog Cactus

ECFE (Echinocereus fendleri)

Family: Cactaceae (Cacti)
Size: 4 - 12 in (10 - 30 cm)
Growth: shrub; perennial
Blooms: May 25 - Jun 15

Flower: simple; shades of pink with yellow anthers and green stigma; flowers are borne below the apex of the stem
Leaf: dicot; white and black; one central spine and 4 to 10 radial spines
Fruit: red, round and spiny; edible

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: pinyon-juniper --- dry slopes and in rocky areas in semidesert areas
Typical location: White Rock

It is a low growing, scrubby cactus, that grows alone or in small clumps with 5 to 20 stems. It is relatively inconspicuous and easy to overlook until it blooms as its showy, short-lived flowers are hard to miss.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Kingcup Cactus

Photo: Chick Keller

Kingcup Cactus

Photo: CK Kelly

Kingcup Cactus

Photo: Alex Abair

Kingcup Cactus, Claret Cup, Mojave Mound

ECTR (Echinocereus triglochidiatus)

Family: Cactaceae (Cacti)
Size: 6 - 9 in (15 - 23 cm)
Growth: shrub; perennial
Blooms: May 15 - Jun 15

Flower: simple; red; funnel-shaped; grow at the top of stems, all at about the same height
Leaf: dicot; densely spiny and somewhat woolly
Fruit: exterior densely spiny and somewhat woolly with white pulp; juicy with spines; edible

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: pinyon-juniper --- low desert to rocky slopes, scrub, mountain woodland
Typical location: White Rock

The Kingcup is a mounding cactus, forming rounded piles of a few to hundreds of spherical to cylindrical stems. It is related to the Scarlet Hedgehog but has much fewer spines. It is the most wide-spread of the Echiniocereus genius and the most variable in appearance. The flowers are pollinated by hummingbirds.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Nylon Hedgehog Cactus

Photo: Chick Keller

Nylon Hedgehog Cactus

Photo: Craig Martin

Nylon Hedgehog Cactus, Green-Flowered Hedgehog, Small-Flowered Hedgehog, Green Pitaya

ECVI2 (Echinocereus viridiflorus)

Family: Cactaceae (Cacti)
Size: up to 6 in (15 cm)
Growth: shrub; perennial
Blooms: Jun 01 - Jun 30

Flower: simple; yellowish green; tubular; may have maroon stripes; delicate petal tips
Leaf: dicot; spines are variable in color; short and numerous
Fruit: variably colored fruit with white pulp

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: grassland, scrubland --- desert scrub, woodlands, dry grasslands
Typical location: White Rock, White Rock Canyon

The plant is relatively easy to overlook. It consists of short, most unbranched, cylinders that form small clusters with a dozen or so members.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Spinystar

Photo: Jerry Oldenettel

Spinystar

Photo: Akkana Peck

Spinystar, Pincushion Cactus, Beehive Cactus

ESVI2 (Escobaria vivipara, Coryphantha vivapara)

Family: Cactaceae (Cacti)
Size: up to 6 in (15 cm)
Growth: shrub; perennial
Blooms: Apr 15 - Jun 15

Flower: simple; pink; arise from tubercles at the top of the plant; conspicuously fringed
Leaf: dicot; up to 40 white radial spines and several darker, central spines pointing outwards at various angles
Fruit: green, ovoid fruits that turn dull brownish red; juicy

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: pinyon-juniper --- dry valleys, foothills, grasslands

A favorite as an ornamental in nurseries, this cactus can be found at elevations up to 8,800 ft (2,700 m) as a single plant or small cluster of 20 or more stems. It was a common food source, roasted or boiled, for some Native American cultures.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Tulip Prickly Pear Cactus

Photo: Akkana Peck

Tulip Prickly Pear Cactus

Photo: Craig Martin

Tulip Prickly Pear Cactus

Photo: Matthew Salkiewicz

Tulip Prickly Pear Cactus, Desert Prickly Pear, Brown-spined Pricklypear, Dark-spined Prickly Pear

OPPH (Opuntia phaeacantha)

Family: Cactaceae (Cacti)
Size: 4 - 10 in (10 - 25 cm)
Growth: shrub; perennial
Blooms: May 20 - Aug 01

Flower: simple; yellow, orange, or pink; very large and open wide
Leaf: dicot; clusters of 8 or fewer thick white or brown central spines; may have no spines on the base of the pads
Fruit: reddish purple fruits with green flesh

Status: native; common
Habitat: disturbed soil, open area, scrubland --- grasslands, pine-juniper,scrub
Typical location: Red Dot Trail

Our most common species of prickly pear. It is highly variable and is prone to hybridize with other species. The fruit is edible and can sometimes be found in the markets. It is often used to flavor lemonade and margaritas. During dry periods the dark green pads may take on a purplish tinge.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Plains Prickly Pear Cactus

Photo: Barbara Calef

Plains Prickly Pear Cactus

Photo: Yvonne Keller

Plains Prickly Pear Cactus

Photo: Donna Pomeroy

Plains Prickly Pear Cactus, Hairspine Pricklypear, Starvation Prickly Pear

OPPO (Opuntia polyacantha)

Family: Cactaceae (Cacti)
Size: 4 - 10 in (10 - 25 cm)
Growth: shrub; perennial
Blooms: May 25 - Jul 05

Flower: simple; yellow or orange, and sometimes pink;
Leaf: dicot; closely spaced clusters of spines that vary in color but are usually short and dense
Fruit: tan to brown; almost burr-like

Status: native; common
Habitat: pinyon-juniper --- semi-desert, foothills, open areas
Typical location: Burnt Mesa Trail, Red Dot Trail

The plant is grows very close to the ground forming a spreading mat that is often partially covered by soil or grass and leaves. It is common to see semi-circular chunks taken out of the pads caused by animals nibbling on them.

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   
Twinberry Honeysuckle

Photo: Russel Pfau

Twinberry Honeysuckle

Photo: Alison Young

Twinberry Honeysuckle

Photo: Barbara Calef

Twinberry Honeysuckle, Bush Honeysuckle, Inkberry, Black Twinberry, Bearberry Honeysuckle, Four-line Honeysuckle

LOIN5 (Lonicera involucrata)

Family: Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckles)
Size: 45 - 300 in (114 - 762 cm)
Growth: shrub; perennial
Blooms: May 01 - Jul 31

Flower: simple; yellow with red; tubular paired flowers; sweetly scented and nectar-producing
Leaf: dicot; elliptic to lance-shaped; opposite orientation
Fruit: dark, shiny, purplish berries; surrounded by green woolly bracts that turn deep red with time

Status: native; common
Habitat: garden, mountain meadow, stream --- moist areas at forest openings and meadow edges at high altitude --- 7,000-10,000 ft (2,000 to 3,000 m)
Typical location: East Fork of Jemez River, Frijoles Canyon

Like other honeysuckles, this plant is often used as a garden ornamental. Its flowers attract hummingbirds and birds feed on the fruits. The berries are juicy but intensely bitter and potentially toxic for human consumption. However, they have been used as a dye source.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Arizona Valerian

Photo: Chick Keller

Arizona Valerian

Photo: Craig Martin

Arizona Valerian, Valerian

VAAR3 (Valeriana arizonica)

Family: Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckles)
Size: 2 - 6 in (5 - 15 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Mar 19 - Jun 01

Flower: simple; pinkish white; tubular; arranged in a spherical cluster; 5 lobes
Leaf: dicot; sparsely spaced leaves; opposite arrangement
Fruit: achene-like with 1 seed

Status: native; locally common
Habitat: mixed conifer, ponderosa --- moist coniferous forests
Typical location: Valle Canyon

Found at upper elevations on north facing slopes. The plant is characterized by unbranched, stout but relatively short stems tapering to long stalks.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Field Chickweed

Photo: Chick Keller

Field Chickweed

Photo: Craig Martin

Field Chickweed, Chickweed, Mouse-ear Chickweed

CEAR4 (Cerastium arvense)

Family: Caryophyllaceae (Pinks)
Size: 12 - 16 in (30 - 41 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: May 09 - Jul 12

Flower: simple; white; 5 petals, deeply notched into 2 lobes; open clusters
Leaf: dicot; lance-linear; opposite; toothless
Fruit: capsule; narrowly cylindrical and slightly curved

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

A plant that grows from a taproot or systems of rhizomes. It can grow in various forms --- mat, clump, creeper or upright.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Simple Champion

Photo: Jerry Oldenettel

Simple Champion

Photo: Chick Keller

Simple Champion, Scouler's Catchfly

SISC7 (Silene scouleri)

Family: Caryophyllaceae (Pinks)
Size: up to 32 in (81 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Aug 18 - Sep 11

Flower: simple; white with pink or purple; 2 to 4 lobes; inflorescence varies --- few or many flowers, dense or open cluster
Leaf: dicot; grow at the bases and at paired intervals along the stem; covered in soft hairs
Fruit: ovoid capsules with wrinkled seeds

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: oak woodland --- bluffs, prairies, open woods
Typical location: Ski Hill

The low basal leaves of this plant are often overlooked until the tall flowering stalks appear. The stem is typically simple or unbranched, giving the plant its common name. The calyx is distinctive, lined with 10 greenish purple veins and often appearing inflated.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Oregon Boxleaf

Photo: Mary Carole Williams

Oregon Boxleaf

Photo: Craig Martin

Oregon Boxleaf, Mountain Lover, Myrtle Boxwood

PAMY (Paxistima myrsinites)

Family: Celastraceae (Bittersweets)
Size: 8 - 24 in (20 - 61 cm)
Growth: shrub; perennial
Blooms: Apr 18 - May 30

Flower: simple; red with yellow; cross-shaped; growing in a cluster around an axil; inconspicuous
Leaf: dicot; evergreen leaves; toothed margins; opposite arrangement
Fruit: cylindrical brown fruit capsules

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

Oregon boxleaf is a low spreading shrub that looks like a miniature boxwood. It reproduces via seed, but it can also be propagated with cuttings. In the wild, it is a good source of food for a variety of animals.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Rocky Mountain Beeplant

Photo: Jerry Oldenettel

Rocky Mountain Beeplant

Photo: Yvonne Keller

Rocky Mountain Beeplant

Photo: Sharon

Rocky Mountain Beeplant, Skunk Weed, Bee Spider Flower

CLSE (Cleome serrulata, Cleome serrulata)

Family: Cleomaceae (Mustards)
Size: 5 - 40 in (13 - 102 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; annual
Blooms: Jul 10 - Sep 22

Flower: simple; pink; each flower has 4 petals and sepals and 6 long, showy stamens; clustered in elongated racemes
Leaf: dicot; trifoliate with small teeth; spirally arranged
Fruit: distinctive podlike capsules; up to 4 inches(10 cm) long; droop down from elongated stems

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: disturbed soil --- foothills, montane, woodlands

Flowers produce large amounts of nectar. They form a showy cluster that continues to elongate during the season so that seed pods may be present at the same time as new blooms. The flowers attract a variety of pollinators. A black dye, used for paining pots, can be made by boiling down the whole plant.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Birdbill Dayflower

Photo: Chick Keller

Birdbill Dayflower

Photo: Jerry Oldenettel

Birdbill Dayflower, Bird-Bill Dayflower

CODI4 (Commelina dianthifolia)

Family: Commelinaceae (Spiderworts)
Size: up to 18 in (46 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Aug 20 - Sep 10

Flower: simple; blue with a small amount of yellow; flowers are nestled in a green pouch from which each new flower emerges; 3 petals: 2 large and 1 small
Leaf: monocot; bright-green, long and narrow; leaf blade contracted around the main stem
Fruit: pointed capsule; seeds form within the bract

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: ponderosa --- montane, rocky openings
Typical location: Intersection of Pajarito Trail and Rendija Canyon

The flowers open in the morning but wither by by mid-day. Like other Dayflowers, the petals absorb moisture from the atmosphere until they dissolve and turn too much. Typically one new flower opens each morning. An infusion of the plant has been used as a strengthener for weakened patients and as an aphrodisiac for livestock.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Red Osier Dogwood

Photo: Rod

Red Osier Dogwood

Photo: Craig Martin

Red Osier Dogwood

Photo: Ellen Hildebrandt

Red Osier Dogwood, Red Twig Dogwood

COSE16 (Cornus sericea)

Family: Cornaceae (Dogwoods)
Size: 36 - 120 in (91 - 305 cm)
Growth: shrub, tree; perennial
Blooms: May 20 - Jul 14

Flower: simple; white; arranged in flat-topped clusters; fragrant; 4 stamens and 4 petals
Leaf: dicot; simple and oblong; opposite arrangement; lighter green underneath
Fruit: white berries; may be tinged with blue

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: riparian --- found in wet canyons not too far from a stream
Typical location: Pajarito Canyon second crossing

Red Osier Dogwood is a multi-stemmed shrub with branches radiating from the base. Smaller branches and twigs are dark red, though plants in shaded areas may lack this coloration. Butterflies and other pollinators are attracted to the flowers. Birds will consume the berries.

Info    Photos   Distribution   Tree Guide
Kinnikinnick

Photo: Chick Keller

Kinnikinnick

Photo: Lorraine Briddon

Kinnikinnick

Photo: Don Sutherland

Kinnikinnick, Bearberry

ARUV (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)

Family: Ericaceae (Heaths)
Size: 2 - 12 in (5 - 30 cm)
Growth: shrub; perennial
Blooms: Mar 10 - May 08

Flower: simple; paink and white; urn-shaped on bright-red stems
Leaf: dicot; shiny and small; thick, leathery, and paddle-shaped
Fruit: drupes; bright red and glossy

Status: native; locally common
Habitat: ponderosa --- montane, alpine, woodlands
Typical location: Kinnikinnick Park

Its species name of uva-ursi means "grape of the bear” and indeed bears eats the fruit. Often forms very dense, pure stands of groundcover.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Pinesap

Photo: Alex Abair

Pinesap

Photo: Chick Keller

Pinesap

Photo: Alex Abair

Pinesap, Yellow Bird's Nest, Many-flower Indian-pipe

MOHY3 (Monotropa hypopithys, Hypopitys americana)

Family: Ericaceae (Heaths)
Size: 3 - 10 in (8 - 25 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Aug 01 - Sep 10

Flower: simple; pink to red; vase-like, nodding flowers on same colored stem
Leaf: dicot; stalkless, scale-like, elliptical; occurring along the flower stem
Fruit: hairy, erect capsules that survive until the following summer

Status: native; rare
Habitat: mixed conifer --- mature, moist, shaded, temperate forests

Pinesap does not contain chlorophyll and in many areas of the US the plant is pale yellows white in color. It get its food from photosynthesis but rather obtains nourishment from parasitizing fungi associated with roots, in particular those of oaks and pines. As such it is indirectly a parasite of the trees by taking the nutrients that the fungi obtain from them.

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   
Beaked Milkvetch

Photo: Christina M. Selby

Beaked Milkvetch

Photo: Chick Keller

Beaked Milkvetch

Photo: Craig Martin

Beaked Milkvetch, Freckled Milkvetch, Specklepod Milkfetch, Spotted Locoweed

ASLE8 (Astragalus lentiginosus)

Family: Fabaceae (Peas)
Size: up to 12 in (30 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, subshrub; annual, biennial, perennial
Blooms: May 08 - Jun 06

Flower: simple; purple or white; turned upward and growing in loose clusters of up to 30
Leaf: dicot; elliptical to oval; dark green; hairless
Fruit: egg-shaped pod; beaked; inflated

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: pinyon-juniper --- semi-desert, open areas
Typical location: Anniversary Trail

The plant grows in dense, large tufts with numerous arching leaflets. It typically has short, stiff hairs on the stems.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Missouri Milkvetch

Photo: Rebecca Shankland

Missouri Milkvetch

Photo: M. Weiss

Missouri Milkvetch

Photo: Craig Martin

Missouri Milkvetch

ASMI10 (Astragalus missouriensis)

Family: Fabaceae (Peas)
Size: 4 - 6 in (10 - 15 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, subshrub; perennial
Blooms: Apr 21 - May 19

Flower: simple; shades of purple and blue; short flower cluster on a thick stem with 3 to 10 stalked pea-shaped flowers
Leaf: dicot; compound, elliptical leaves that a bend along the axis; covered with dense silvery-white to gray hairs
Fruit: short, oblong seedpods with stiff hairs

Status: native; common
Habitat: pinyon-juniper --- semi-desert, woodlands, shrubs, openings
Typical location: White Rock

This plant has a wide range and is found in a band that ranges from Texas and New Mexico in the south up into Canada in the north. It can accumulate selenium, which makes it not very palatable to livestock but is not considered to be toxic like some of its close relatives.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Purple Prairie-Clover

Photo: Chick Keller

Purple Prairie-Clover

Photo: Craig Martin

Purple Prairie-Clover

Photo: Mark Kluge

Purple Prairie-Clover, Violet Prairie lover

DAPU5 (Dalea purpurea)

Family: Fabaceae (Peas)
Size: 8 - 30 in (20 - 76 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, subshrub; perennial
Blooms: Jun 24 - Sep 10

Flower: simple; pink or purple; long cone-like flower heads each on a long stem
Leaf: dicot; pinnate arrangement with odd central leaflet; 3 to 5 narrow leaflets
Fruit: tiny, egg-shaped pod containing 1 or 2 seeds

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: pinyon-juniper, ponderosa --- open, rocky sites, prairies, open woodland, forest openings

It is a nitrogen fixing plant and not a true clover in the genus Trifolium. The mature plant has a large taproot and woody stems which has allowed it to adapt to a habitat with periodic wildfires. It is nutritious plant and provides food from many animals and livestock. The leaves can be used to make a tea and the stems were used as brooms.

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   
Tailcup Lupine

Photo: Christina M. Selby

Tailcup Lupine

Photo: Chick Keller

Tailcup Lupine, Spurred Lupine

LUCA (Lupinus caudatus)

Family: Fabaceae (Peas)
Size: 8 - 24 in (20 - 61 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Jun 14 - Aug 18

Flower: simple; blue to purple; individual flowers are scattered on 2 to 6 ft (0.6 to 1.8 m) spikes
Leaf: dicot; often silvery; palmately compound; silky hairs
Fruit: pinkish-brown, silky pods

Status: native; locally common
Habitat: mixed conifer, ponderosa --- grassland, sagebrush, desert and mountain shrub, forest
Typical location: Behind Guaje Pines Cemetery

Seeds can be toxic to humans and animals. The flowers are of special value to bumble bees.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
New Mexico Locust

Photo: Patrick Alexander

New Mexico Locust

Photo: Craig Martin

New Mexico Locust

Photo: James Bailey

New Mexico Locust, Mescal Bean

RONE (Robinia neomexicana)

Family: Fabaceae (Peas)
Size: up to 300 in (762 cm)
Growth: shrub, tree; perennial
Blooms: May 07 - Jul 22

Flower: simple; pink-to-purple; pea-shaped and fragrant; clusters hang from the branches near the ends
Leaf: dicot; oblong leaflets arranged on either side of the stem with thorns at the base
Fruit: hairy, bean-like pods; pods and seeds will persist for some time

Status: native; common
Habitat: ponderosa --- deserts, mesa, canyons, conifer forests

This many-branched, thicket-forming shrub has reddish-purple branches. Although a true locust, it does not have the invasive characteristics of other species. The New Mexico is sometimes used as an ornamental. Pueblo Native Americans traditionally ate the raw flowers, while the foliage and seeds are eaten by wildlife.

Info    Photos   Distribution   Tree Guide
Mountain Goldenbanner

Photo: Josip Loncaric

Mountain Goldenbanner

Photo: Jerry Oldenettel

Mountain Goldenbanner, Golden Pea, Montane Goldenbanner, Buckbean

THMO6 (Thermopsis montana, Thermopsis rhombifolia)

Family: Fabaceae (Peas)
Size: 1 - 4 in (3 - 10 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Apr 14 - Jun 11

Flower: simple; yellow; held on a spike above leaves in elongated clusters
Leaf: dicot; 3 long, oval leaflets arranged on a stem compound
Fruit: long, brown upright pod which dries to black

Status: native; common
Habitat: ponderosa --- semi-desert, foothills, woodlands, meadows, open areas

The plant has purplish stems with a white coating. The flowers which are particularly attractive to bumblebees have been used as a source of yellow dye.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
American Vetch

Photo: Chick Keller

American Vetch

Photo: Craig Martin

American Vetch

Photo: Walter Siegmund

American Vetch

VIAM (Vicia americana)

Family: Fabaceae (Peas)
Size: 6 - 30 in (15 - 76 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, vine; perennial
Blooms: May 27 - Sep 22

Flower: simple; purple; arranged in loose clusters
Leaf: dicot; pinnate; alternate arrangement
Fruit: oblong, flattened pod that hands down

Status: native; common
Habitat: ponderosa --- foothills, montane, subalpine, woodlands, meadows

A slender, climbing plant with tendrils that can attach to other vegetation or structures. Nitrogen fixer.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Elkweed

Photo: Damon Tighe

Elkweed

Photo: Bob Dryja

Elkweed

Photo: SM Mallory

Elkweed, Green Gentian, Monument Plant

FRSP (Frasera speciosa, Swertia radiata)

Family: Gentianacae (Gentians)
Size: 24 - 72 in (61 - 183 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Jun 22 - Oct 31

Flower: simple; green and white streaked with purple; 4 lobes; grow along most of the stem; more dense at the top;
Leaf: dicot; oblong to lance-shaped; whorl of 3 to 7 leaves; very long (up to 20 in or 50 cm); generally hairless
Fruit: dark brown, flattened, seeds with a narrow wing

Status: native; rare
Habitat: mixed conifer --- foothills, montane, subalpine, alpine, meadows, open areas
Typical location: Valle Canyon

The plant grows for many years but only blooms once and then dies. A blooming plant can have hundreds of flowers. Flowering is synchronized among the plants in a particular area. Elkweed is one of the tallest non-shrublike flowering plants in the area. It has been used medicinally for digestive complaints. In addition, the ground roots mixed with oil is a parasiticide for killing lice.

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   
Wax Currant

Photo: Ellen Hildebrandt

Wax Currant

Photo: Craig Martin

Wax Currant

Photo: Jerry Oldenettel

Wax Currant, Western Red Currant, White Squaw Currant

RICE (Ribes cereum)

Family: Grossulariaceae (Currants)
Size: 8 - 80 in (20 - 203 cm)
Growth: shrub; perennial
Blooms: Apr 01 - May 30

Flower: simple; pink and white; bell-shaped; clusters with 2 to 9 flowers
Leaf: dicot; light-green foliage; turns yellow in autumn
Fruit: bright-red berries with dried flower remnant at the end

Status: native; common
Habitat: ponderosa --- grows in mountain forests, sagebrush, woodlands

Compact, rounded shrub with cherry-like bark. The plant is aromatic, with a "spicy" scent. The berries are edible but considered to be fairly tasteless.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Cliff Fendlerbush

Photo: Chick Keller

Cliff Fendlerbush

Photo: Jerry Friedman

Cliff Fendlerbush

Photo: Alex Abair

Cliff Fendlerbush, False Mock Orange

FERU (Fendlera rupicola)

Family: Hydrangeaceae (Hydrangeas)
Size: 40 - 120 in (102 - 305 cm)
Growth: shrub; perennial
Blooms: May 07 - May 30

Flower: simple; pink buds opening up to white flowers; 4 petals with broad tips and narrow bases
Leaf: dicot; oblong; thick and twisted; opposite arrangement
Fruit: outer shell persistent

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: pinyon-juniper --- dry, rocky mountain slopes, deserts, mesas
Typical location: Overlook Park, Red Dot Trail

Semi-evergreen, multi-branched shrub with showy flowers. The overall shape of the plant is vertical. It provides good browse for wildlife and domestic animals.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Fivepetal Cliffbush

Photo: Chick Keller

Fivepetal Cliffbush

Photo: Chick Keller

Fivepetal Cliffbush, Five-petal Cliffbush, Waxflower

JAAM (Jamesia americana)

Family: Hydrangeaceae (Hydrangeas)
Size: 36 - 72 in (91 - 183 cm)
Growth: shrub; perennial
Blooms: Jun 11 - Jul 22

Flower: simple; white to pink; 4 or 5 petals; produced in erect branching clusters
Leaf: dicot; broadly oval and coarsely-toothed; opposite arrangement
Fruit: dry capsule with numerous small seeds

Status: native; common
Habitat: mixed conifer, ponderosa --- grows in mountainous areas in the range of 5400 - 9800 ft (1600 – 3000 m)
Typical location: Kinnikinnick Park

The genus Jamesia contains the last two species of shrubby plants in the hydrangea family surviving in the US. The genus is named for Edwin James who was the first non-native explorer to climb to the top of Pike’s Peak and described over a 100 new species. Jamesia americana is the more common of the two species and is noted for shreddy, gray to reddish-brown bark and numerous flowers.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Littleleaf Mock Orange

Photo: Chick Keller

Littleleaf Mock Orange

Photo: Craig Martin

Littleleaf Mock Orange, Littleleaf Mockorange

PHMI4 (Philadelphus microphyllus)

Family: Hydrangeaceae (Hydrangeas)
Size: 48 - 72 in (122 - 183 cm)
Growth: shrub; perennial
Blooms: Jun 24 - Aug 18

Flower: simple; white with yellow center; 4 petals and sepals; solitary flower or at most a cluster of 2 or 3; sweetly scented
Leaf: dicot; small leaves, opposite orientation; lance-shaped with serrated margins
Fruit: small capsule containing numerous tiny seeds

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: ponderosa --- arid rocky slopes, cliffs, coniferous woods

Littleleaf Mock Orange received its common in reference to its flowers which look similar to those of many citrus fruits and smell like orange flowers. Augustus Fendler was the first to find this plant in 1847 in the mountains above Santa Fe. The young branches of the plant are covered with stiff hairs while the older branches have grayish, shedding bark. This plant may be somewhat toxic to livestock. The leaves can be crushed and mixed with water to produce a soap.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Rocky Mountain Iris

Photo: Craig Martin

Rocky Mountain Iris

Photo: Chick Keller

Rocky Mountain Iris

Photo: sea-kangaroo

Rocky Mountain Iris, Western Blue Flag Iris, Paria Iris

IRMI (Iris missouriensis)

Family: Iridaceae (Irises)
Size: 12 - 36 in (30 - 91 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: May 30 - Jul 19

Flower: simple; blue to purple, rarely white; deeply veined; petals upright and spread out; usually only 2 or 3 per plant
Leaf: monocot; stiff, very long, light green leaves with some white at the base
Fruit: seedpods upright, large and chunky

Status: native; common
Habitat: montane --- foothills, subalpine, wetlands, meadows, openings
Typical location: Canada Bonita

Often found in large patches in meadows and mountain foothills but grows as a solitary plant in woods. Considered a nuisance in pasture land due to its bitter taste and grazing only promotes further growth. The Zuni used the chewed root as a poultice for newborns.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Strict Blue-eyed Grass

Photo: Craig Martin

Strict Blue-eyed Grass

Photo: Janie O'Rourke

Strict Blue-eyed Grass, Mountain Blue-eyed Grass

SIMO2 (Sisyrinchium montanum)

Family: Iridaceae (Irises)
Size: 5 - 20 in (13 - 51 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Jul 19 - Sep 10

Flower: simple; blue to purple; 6 petals with notched tips
Leaf: monocot; long, narrow leaves growing from the plant base
Fruit: round to oval capsule divided into 3 sections

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: montane, meadows, openings
Typical location: Canada Bonita

This plant is not actually a grass. It grows in clumps but may be hard to find since it can be intertwined with true grasses.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Wild Bergamot

Photo: lysa

Wild Bergamot

Photo: Chick Keller

Wild Bergamot, Mintleaf Beebalm, Horsemint

MOFI (Monarda fistulosa)

Family: Lamiaceae (Mints)
Size: 30 - 36 in (76 - 91 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, subshrub; perennial
Blooms: Jul 02 - Aug 27

Flower: simple; pink, purple, or white; clusters of flowers that look like pompoms
Leaf: dicot; gray-green; smell minty
Fruit: very small oblong nutlet

Status: native; common
Habitat: mixed conifer --- dry open woods, fields, wet meadows and ditches
Typical location: Pajarito Canyon

Bergamot grows from slender creeping rhizomes. Can be used to make a mint tea.

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   
Mariposa Lily

Photo: Craig Martin

Mariposa Lily

Photo: Chick Keller

Mariposa Lily

CAGU (Calochortus gunnisonii)

Family: Liliaceae (Lilies)
Size: up to 18 in (46 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Jul 14, 2000 - Aug 27, 2000

Flower: simple; purple to white; dark purple markings; large, showy, and bell-shaped; sepals shorter than petals, filaments shorter than anthers
Leaf: monocot; thin grass-like; hairless; basal leaves wither with the season
Fruit: linear, erect capsule; seeds flat and inflated

Status: native; common
Habitat: foothills, montane, subalpine, meadows
Typical location: Camp May

The genus of the plant (Calochortus comes from the Greek for “beautiful” and “grass”, referring to its exotic flowers and thin leaves. The flower is distinguished by a broad band of yellow hairs above an elliptically-shaped structure on each petal. The plant sprouts from bulbs that are buried deep within the soil. The bulbs are edible.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Sego Lily

Photo: Craig Martin

Sego Lily

Photo: Jerry Oldenettel

Sego Lily, Nuttall's Mariposa

CANU3 (Calochortus nuttallii)

Family: Liliaceae (Lilies)
Size: 6 - 18 in (15 - 46 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: May 15 - Jun 30

Flower: simple; white with yellow base and red ring; sometimes pink or tinged with pink; 1 to 3 showy tulip-like flowers
Leaf: monocot; curved and grasslike; alternate arrangement
Fruit: upright, lance-shaped capsules

Status: native; common
Habitat: canyon, grassland, scrubland --- sandy soils, hot dry areas at up to 8,000 ft (2,500 m) elevations
Typical location: Red Dot Trail, Ancho Canyon

The common name for this plant (Sego) comes from the Shoshonean word for “edible”. The bulbs can be dried for use in winter, eaten raw, or roasted. The flowers have been used ceremonially.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Starry False Lily of the Valley

Photo: Chick Keller

Starry False Lily of the Valley

Photo: Jerry Oldenettel

Starry False Lily of the Valley

Photo: Sheri

Starry False Lily of the Valley, Starry False Solomon's Seal

MAST4 (Maianthemum stellatum, Smilacina stellata)

Family: Liliaceae (Lilies)
Size: 12 - 24 in (30 - 61 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Jun 01 - Jun 30

Flower: simple; white; tiny star-like;small clusters at the tip of the stem
Leaf: monocot; lance-shaped with smooth edges; slightly folded inward; alternative spacing
Fruit: seed capsules turning yellow and then red

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

Thrives in moist locations. Starry False Lilly of the Valley has lateral underground roots from which new plants can sprout leading to colonies of plants. The fruits and leaves are eaten by bears.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Western Blue Flax

Photo: Chick Keller

Western Blue Flax

Photo: Craig Martin

Western Blue Flax

Photo: hikingsandiego

Western Blue Flax, Lewis Flax, Prairie Flax

LILE3 (Linum lewisii)

Family: Linaceae (Flax)
Size: 18 - 20 in (46 - 51 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, subshrub; perennial
Blooms: May 19 - Aug 18

Flower: simple; blue or purple; darker veins; 5 petals
Leaf: dicot; narrow long leaves; bristle at top
Fruit: sphericl to elliptical capsule; spits open on the top

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: ponderosa --- foothills, montane, subalpine, woodlands, openings, meadows
Typical location: Lower Quemazon Trail

This flax has long slender stems that often bend over as buds develop. The buds will open at sunrise and stay open only part of the day.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Plains Flax

Photo: wingedchimera

Plains Flax

Photo: Peter Alexander

Plains Flax

LIPU4 (Linum puberulum, Cathartolinum puberulum)

Family: Linaceae (Flax)
Size: up to 2 in (5 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; annual
Blooms: Apr 14 - May 14

Flower: simple; orange with red center; open flower with five petals
Leaf: dicot; greenish-gray; very narrow, almost grasslike
Fruit: ovoid capsule that splits into 5 parts on maturation

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: ponderosa --- semi-desert, foothills, openings, meadows
Typical location: Overlook Park, White Rock Canyon

Plant most often seen along canyon rims, often growing is sparse patches. The flower petals are so loosely attached that the least amount of movement can cause them to fall off. Native Americans have used the plant to treat eye inflammation.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Adonis Blazingstar

Photo: Becky Shankland

Adonis Blazingstar

Photo: Jerry Oldenettel

Adonis Blazingstar

Photo: Alex Abair

Adonis Blazingstar, Stickleaf, Manyflowered Blazingstar

MEMU3 (Mentzelia multiflora)

Family: Loasaceae (Blazingstar/Stickleaf)
Size: 24 - 30 in (61 - 76 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; biennial, perennial
Blooms: Jun 01 - Aug 31

Flower: simple; yellow or white with yellow center; 5 petals and 5 septa’s; long, outer rows of stamens resembling petals
Leaf: dicot; bright green; long, narrow and lobed; covered in short, hooked hairs; sticky
Fruit: greenish cup-shaped capsules; seeds oval with wing

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: disturbed soil

The Adonis Bazingstar has several distinctive features that make it relatively easy to recognize. It tall with whitish, multi branched stems. The lower surface of the leaves adheres tightly to clothing. The flowers open in the afternoon and are closed during the following morning.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
White Checkermallow

Photo: Corry Clinton

White Checkermallow

Photo: Craig Martin

White Checkermallow

Photo: Craig Martin

White Checkermallow, White CheckerBloom, Wild Hollyhock

SICA3 (Sidalcea candida)

Family: Malvaceae (Mallows)
Size: up to 36 in (91 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Jul 22 - Sep 11

Flower: simple; white; paper-thin; 5 petals; large flowers held on upright stems to form spikes
Leaf: dicot; glossy, roundish basal leaves; lobed upper leaves
Fruit: large five-sided capsule that splits open

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: riparian --- montane, subalpine, streamsides, wetlands

Sidalcea candida was named by Asa Gray from specimens collected by Augustus Fendler in 1847 near a creek in Santa Fe. The plant grows straight, slim, and tall with large flowers at its tips. It is rhizomatous and commonly found in loose clusters or even dense patches.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
New Mexico Checkermallow

Photo: Craig Martin

New Mexico Checkermallow

Photo: Craig Martin

New Mexico Checkermallow, Rocky Mountain Checkerbloom, Salt Spring Checkerbloom

SINE3 (Sidalcea neomexicana)

Family: Malvaceae (Mallows)
Size: up to 36 in (91 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Jul 22 - Sep 11

Flower: simple; pink to purple; 5 petals; large flowers held on upright stems to form spikes
Leaf: dicot; circular, lobed basal leaves; more deeply incised mid-plant; deeply incised at top
Fruit: large five-sided capsule that splits open

Status: native; common
Habitat: riparian --- montane, subalpine, streamsides, wetlands

Sidalcea neomexicana was named by Asa Gray from specimens collected by Augustus Fendler in 1847 near a moist meadow in Santa Fe. Like others in the same genus, this plant likes to have its feet wet. It grows straight, slim, and tall with large flowers at its tips. An infusion from plant has been made and used for treatment of internal injuries.

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   
Mountain Deathcamas

Photo: Chick Keller

Mountain Deathcamas

Photo: Jerry Oldenettel

Mountain Deathcamas

Photo: Eric Howe

Mountain Deathcamas, Elegant Camas, Alkali Grass

ZIEL2 (Zigadenus elegans, Anticlea elegans)

Family: Melanthiaceae (Death Camus)
Size: 6 - 30 in (15 - 76 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Jul 09 - Sep 10

Flower: simple; white with green; lily-like flowers with two-pronged, greenish glands on each petal; 3 petals and 3 sepals, identical in appearance (tepals); dense clusters along upper portion of stems
Leaf: monocot; long, thin leaves; mostly basal with faint parallel line and a midrib
Fruit: 3-parted, oval shaped cone

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

The Mountain Deathcamas is not a grass even though its leaves are grass-like. It has received its common name from the fact that all parts of the plant are highly poisonous. It was responsible for the deaths of many early setters due to the fact that it is similar in some ways to certain edible species like onion. Stout stems grow out of a large, black-coated bulb. It has also been the cause of death for livestock. Meriweather Lewis collected a specimen near the Blackfoot River during the 1806 expedition.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Colorado Four O'clock

Photo: Chick Keller

Colorado Four O'clock

Photo: Jerry Oldenettel

Colorado Four O'clock

MIMU (Mirabilis multiflora, Mirabilis glandulosa)

Family: Nyctaginaceae (Four O'Clocks)
Size: 15 - 18 in (38 - 46 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, subshrub; perennial
Blooms: Jun 16 - Sep 10

Flower: simple; pink or purple; tubular with 5 lobes
Leaf: dicot; thick, shiny, and cordate; opposite arrangement
Fruit: dark; shaped like miniature hand-grenades

Status: native; common
Habitat: pinyon-juniper --- grows on mesas, not canyons
Typical location: Anniversary Trail

Erect plant with hemispherical bushy growth. Flowers open in late afternoon.

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   
Tufted Evening Primrose

Photo: Craig Martin

Tufted Evening Primrose

Photo: Barbara Calef

Tufted Evening Primrose, Fragarent Evening Primrose, Gumbo Evening Primrose

OECA10 (Oenothera caespitosa)

Family: Onagraceae (Evening Primroses)
Size: up to 8 in (20 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, subshrub; perennial
Blooms: Mar 27 - Jul 17

Flower: simple; white; 4 petals that are deeply notched at tip; flowers become pink as they age
Leaf: dicot; long, thin, lobed leaves; irregularly lobed or toothed
Fruit: rough seedpods; inconspicuous

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: pinyon-juniper --- foothills, montane, woodlands, openings
Typical location: Anniversary Trail

Spreads by underground roots and often forms large colonies. Flowers open with the evening and wither to pink by the next afternoon. Dependent on hawkmoths for pollination.

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   
Fairy Slipper

Photo: Jerry Oldenettel

Fairy Slipper

Photo: Chick Keller

Fairy Slipper

Photo: Josh B

Fairy Slipper, Fairy Slipper Orchid, Calypso Orchid

CABU (Calypso bulbosa)

Family: Orchidaceae (Orchids)
Size: 2 - 8 in (5 - 20 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: May 30 - Jun 17

Flower: simple; pink or purple with a white lip; may have dark spotting on lip; yellow beard
Leaf: monocot; simple oval leaves; a simple basal leave for each flower stalk
Fruit: upright elliptical capsules

Status: native; rare
Habitat: mixed conifer --- ground litter and mossy areas in cool, damp, mainly coniferous woods
Typical location: Canada Bonita Trail

This orchid often grows singly and close to the ground among other plants. The range of this species is circumpolar from the US and Canada around through Europe and into Asia. It is very susceptible to disturbance and is considered threatened in several US states and parts of Scandinavia. Although the plant makes most of it own food, it utilizes at least one fungus for the intake of some carbon.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Summer Coralroot

Photo: Chick Keller

Summer Coralroot

Photo: Craig Martin

Summer Coralroot, Spotted Coralroot, Spotted Coral Root

COMA25 (Corallorhiza maculata)

Family: Orchidaceae (Orchids)
Size: 8 - 20 in (20 - 51 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Jun 16 - Jul 19

Flower: simple; variable color, typically reddish to purple; 3 sepals and 2 slightly curved lateral petals; white lip often with reddish-purple spots
Leaf: monocot; small and grow regularly all around stem
Fruit: ellipsoid capsules that hand down

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: mixed conifer --- montane woodlands

Typically the stalks of this orchid are red but occasional albino plant with yellow stems are seen. It gets its name from the fact that the rhizome and lower stem are often knotted in such a way as to be reminiscent of coral. This plant is myco-heterotropic, meaning that it primarily does not use photosynthesis to get energy but rather obtains its nutrients by parasitizing the mycelium of certain fungi. It is capable of self-pollination but can be pollinated by insects.

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.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
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.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
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.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Alpine Woodsorrel

Photo: Chick Keller

Alpine Woodsorrel

Photo: Donna Pomeroy

Alpine Woodsorrel

OXAL2 (Oxalis alpina)

Family: Oxalidaceae (Wood Sorrels)
Size: up to 8 in (20 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Jul 14 - Sep 22

Flower: simple; pink or purple; 5 petals; narrow stalklike base
Leaf: dicot; 3 palmate leaflets that droop at night or in the cold
Fruit: ellipsoid capsules

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: mixed conifer --- rocky places in deciduous, pine-oak, or coniferous forests
Typical location: Canada Bonita Trail

The plant grows from a bulb-like tuber. Typically found at higher elevations. Contains oxalic acid in the leaves and stems.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Scrambled Eggs

Photo: Rebecca Shankland

Scrambled Eggs

Photo: Craig Martin

Scrambled Eggs

Photo: Craig Martin

Scrambled Eggs, Golden Smoke, Golden Corydalis

COAU2 (Corydalis aurea)

Family: Papaveraceae (Poppies)
Size: up to 18 in (46 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; annual, biennial
Blooms: Apr 01 - Aug 18

Flower: simple; yellow; spur at the back of each flower; form tightly packed clusters with up to 30 flowers
Leaf: dicot; blue-green leaves divided into leaflets with oval or diamond lobes
Fruit: cylindrical capsules; curve upward

Status: native; common
Habitat: mixed conifer, pinyon-juniper, ponderosa --- montane, subalpine, woodlands
Typical location: Valle Canyon

Often mistaken for a pea rather than a poppy. The stems are weak and are often supported by vegetation or rocks.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
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.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Firecracker Penstemon

Photo: Lonny Holmes

Firecracker Penstemon

Photo: M Hays

Firecracker Penstemon, Eaton's Penstemom, Eaton's Firecracker

PEEA (Penstemon eatonii)

Family: Plantaginaceae (Speedwells)
Size: 15 - 39 in (38 - 99 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Apr 30 - Jun 30

Flower: simple; red; showy tubular flowers that do not spread much at the mouth; 2-lipped; flowers grow along spikes
Leaf: dicot; thick, smooth and without teeth; basal leaves are oval; stalk leaves are lance-shaped;
Fruit: greenish capsule

Status: native; common
Habitat: scrub, pinyon/juniper woodland, pine forest

Firecracker Penstemons are most commonly seen in opening between Pinyon Pines. It thrives in drought conditions and high heat. The flowers are a rich source of nectar and therefore attract numerous hummingbirds. The birds will often defend a territory over a patch of these plants.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
James' Penstemon

Photo: Stephen Shankland

James' Penstemon

Photo: Stephen Shankland

James' Penstemon, James' Beardtongue

PEJA (Penstemon jamesii)

Family: Plantaginaceae (Speedwells)
Size: 4 - 20 in (10 - 51 cm)
Growth: forb/herb, subshrub; perennial
Blooms: May 20 - Jun 18

Flower: simple; pink to purple; growing down one side of the stem; broad throat with prominent streaks
Leaf: dicot; bluish-green; lance-shaped; may have toothed edges
Fruit: brown capsule that split open to reveal black seeds

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: pinyon-juniper, ponderosa --- mesas, limestone hills, pinyon-juniper and ponderosa pine forests
Typical location: White Rock

This plant is very drought tolerant and can be propagated by seed or by cuttings taken in early summer. It attracts bees.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Sidebells Penstemon

Photo: Chick Keller

Sidebells Penstemon

Photo: Craig Martin

Sidebells Penstemon, One-sided Penstemon, Sidebells Beardtongue

PESE11 (Penstemon secundiflorus)

Family: Plantaginaceae (Speedwells)
Size: 12 - 18 in (30 - 46 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: May 04 - Jun 18

Flower: simple; pink to purple with white throat; occasionally all white; lower lip bearded; long spikes of flowers located on one side of stem.
Leaf: dicot; blue-green; lance-shaped; hairless
Fruit: oval capsule

Status: native; locally common
Habitat: mixed conifer --- plains, foothills, montane
Typical location: Quemazon Trail

The plant is distinguished by a rosette of leaves at its base and erect leaves on the stem. Hummingbirds are attracted to the flowers.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Upright Blue Beardtongue

Photo: Jerry Friedman

Upright Blue Beardtongue

Photo: Patrick Alexander

Upright Blue Beardtongue, Upright Blue Penstemon, Wandbloom Penstemon

PEVI4 (Penstemon virgatus)

Family: Plantaginaceae (Speedwells)
Size: 8 - 24 in (20 - 61 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Jun 01 - Jul 31

Flower: simple; purple and/or white; 5-lobed corolla; throat streaked with dark purple guidelines
Leaf: dicot; thin and long; occasionally bent upwards on either side
Fruit: capsules that release short, dark brown seeds when split open

Status: native; locally common
Habitat: ponderosa --- pine forests, mountain meadows
Typical location: Dot Grant Trail, Guaje Pines Cemetery

Upright Blue Beardtongue is exclusively found in the wild at elevations above 5,000 ft (1,500 m). Its genus comes from “peane” (Latin) and “stamen” (Greek), meaning almost thread and alluding to the single sterile stamen in each flower. The roots have been used ceremonially by Navajo. The plant is of special value to native bees.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
June Grass

Photo: Chick Keller

June Grass

Photo: Howard Bruner

June Grass

Photo: JD McCoy

June Grass, Prairie Junegrass, Prairie Koeler's Grass

KOMA (Koeleria macrantha)

Family: Poaceae (Grasses)
Size: up to 24 in (61 cm)
Growth: graminoid; perennial
Blooms: Jul 02 - Aug 18

Flower: simple; light green to silver-green as matures; long tapered, spike-like inflorescence rising above the basal foliage
Leaf: dicot; grayish-blue; flat but may be slightly rolled inward; usually hairless; alternate arrangement
Fruit: silver-gray seed heads; slightly flattened, ellipsoid grains that are light colored

Status: native; common
Habitat: ponderosa --- prairie, fields, open areas

June Grass is a cool season, tufted, perennial bunch grass. It usually does not form dense colonies but rather grows clusters. It is one of the most noticeable plants in the area due to the sunlight streaming through these fronds makes this one of the most noticeable plants in the woods. Although it is a good food source for many grazing animals. It is also a food plant for many species of grasshopper. However, it is a severe allergen for humans who are sensitive to grasses. It is used as a low-maintenance lawn and turf grass, used in the roughs at some golf courses.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
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.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
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.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Jacob's Ladder

Photo: Corry Clinton

Jacob's Ladder

Photo: Chick Keller

Jacob's Ladder, Leafy Polemonium, Towering Jacob's Ladder

POFO (Polemonium foliosissimum)

Family: Polemoniaceae (Phlox)
Size: up to 6 in (15 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Jul 02 - Aug 27

Flower: simple; blue/purple with white stamens and styles; bell-shaped and divided into 5 segments; clusters at the top
Leaf: dicot; pinnately compound leaves at the base and at intervals further up; slightly hairy
Fruit: small capsule with 3 to 5 seeds per cavity

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

The plant can often be found in colonies in mountain meadows. It has an overall open, airy look to it. Its genus name, foliosissum is Greek for “very leafy”. Like other species in the Polemonium genus, it is used as a food plant by the larvae of some butterfly species. In addition, the plant will exude a strong, skunk-like odor when touched.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Pygmyflower Rockjasmine

Photo: Craig Martin

Pygmyflower Rockjasmine

Photo: Craig Martin

Pygmyflower Rockjasmine

Photo: Christina M. Selby

Pygmyflower Rockjasmine, Rock Jasmine, RockJasmine, Northern Fairy Candelabra

ANSE4 (Androsace septentrionalis)

Family: Primulaceae (Primroses)
Size: 6 - 10 in (15 - 25 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; annual, perennial
Blooms: Mar 19 - Sep 01

Flower: simple; white with yellow center; enclosed by a green or reddish calyx; 5 petals
Leaf: dicot; simple leaves formed in a rosette
Fruit: small, smooth, round capsule containing about 20 seeds

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

Tiny plant often obscured by others. It turns shades of red shortly after finishing blooming. Can be found up to 11,000 ft (3,400 m).

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Darkthroat Shootingstar

Photo: John D Reynolds

Darkthroat Shootingstar

Photo: Janie O'Rourke

Darkthroat Shootingstar

Photo: Johnny Holmes

Darkthroat Shootingstar, Shooting Star

DOPU (Dodecatheon pulchellum)

Family: Primulaceae (Primroses)
Size: 6 - 20 in (15 - 51 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Jun 15 - Aug 02

Flower: simple; purple with white and yellow near base; flares back behind the corolla; arranged on long stems usually hanging downward
Leaf: dicot; oval-shaped, hairless capsules with many seeds
Fruit: The plant has a distinctive flower with a magenta, white and yellow corolla that flares back behind the stamen

Status: native; rare
Habitat: riparian --- montane, streamsides, wetlands
Typical location: Upper Frijoles Canyon

The Darkthroat Shootingstar has a rather exotic looking flower. During the height of the flowering season, each plant will have many flowers will open at the same time and there may be potential hundreds of plants in a single area. Infusions of the the roots and leaves have been used for the treatment of sore eyes.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Red Baneberry

Photo: Craig Martin

Red Baneberry

Photo: Chick Keller

Red Baneberry

Photo: Corrie Clinton

Red Baneberry, Snakeberry

ACRU2 (Actaea rubra)

Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercups)
Size: up to 36 in (91 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: May 24 - Jun 30

Flower: simple; small and white; occur in dense, globular clusters
Leaf: dicot; large, highly divided leaves; deeply saw-toothed
Fruit: bright, red round berries

Status: native; common
Habitat: mixed conifer --- rich, moist, deciduous and coniferous woods, thickets
Typical location: Valle Canyon

Large bushy plant. Berries are poisonous to humans but not to birds.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Colorado Blue Columbine

Photo: Dan Nydick

Colorado Blue Columbine

Photo: Craig Martin

Colorado Blue Columbine, Rocky Mountain Columbine

AQCO (Aquilegia coerulea)

Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercups)
Size: 12 - 24 in (30 - 61 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Jun 23 - Oct 31

Flower: simple; usually purplish blue and white; sometime pure white; large, upright, and having long spurs; 5 petals
Leaf: dicot; light green; deeply cut
Fruit: green follicles; several united at the base with top spread apart

Status: native; rare
Habitat: mixed conifer --- alpine, subalpine, montane, meadows, woodlands, rocks
Typical location: Ski Hill

Found at elevations of 6,900 to 12,100 ft (2,100 to 3,700 m). The long flower spurs contain nectar that are only accessible by hawkmoths.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Western Red Columbine

Photo: Yvonne Keller

Western Red Columbine

Photo: Jerry Oldenettel

Western Red Columbine, Rocky Mountain Red Columbine

AQEL (Aquilegia elegantula)

Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercups)
Size: 6 - 12 in (15 - 30 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: May 07 - Jul 14

Flower: simple; red and yellow; 5 long petals ending in spurs; often drooping
Leaf: dicot; divided into three leaflets on long, slender stems
Fruit: follicles with long, slender beaks

Status: native; common
Habitat: mixed conifer --- limestone outcroppings and ledges

This plant can be seen at high elevations on rocky slopes. The red flowers attract hummingbirds.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Rock Clematis

Photo: Damian Tighe

Rock Clematis

Photo: Craig Martin

Rock Clematis

Photo: Craig Martin

Rock Clematis, Spring Clematis

CLCO2 (Clematis columbiana)

Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercups)
Size: 5 - 7 in (13 - 18 cm)
Growth: vine; perennial
Blooms: Apr 05 - May 22

Flower: simple; purple to white; hairy with prominent veins and pointed sepals; flowers often point downward
Leaf: dicot; oval to heart-shaped; trifolate
Fruit: plumed seed heads

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: mixed conifer, ponderosa --- foothills, montane, woodlands
Typical location: Pajarito Trail

This is a spring-blooming vine that is usually not noticeable from the trail, preferring deep forest shade. The stems climb along the ground and up over low bushes and tree trunks.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Eastern Pasqueflower

Photo: Christina M. Selby

Eastern Pasqueflower

Photo: Chick Keller

Eastern Pasqueflower

Photo: Chick Keller

Eastern Pasqueflower, American Pasqueflower

PUPA5 (Pulsatilla patens, Anemone patens)

Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercups)
Size: 3 - 18 in (8 - 46 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Mar 16 - Jun 19

Flower: simple; blue, purple and/or white; single cup-shaped flower on each stalk; 6 petals
Leaf: dicot; deeply cut basal leaves; 3 unstalked leaves with linear segments surround each flower
Fruit: feathery, silky fruiting head

Status: native; common
Habitat: ponderosa --- dry, open, and rocky low to high montane forests and meadows
Typical location: Pajarito Trail, Perimeter Trail, Rendija Canyon

Plants often occur in large colonies. They elongate as they mature. Although the plant was used by Native Americans as a medicine it is highly toxic.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Graceful Buttercup

Photo: Chick Keller

Graceful Buttercup

Photo: Craig Martin

Graceful Buttercup

Photo: faerthen

Graceful Buttercup, Plain Buttercup

RAIN (Ranunculus inamoenus)

Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercups)
Size: up to 12 in (30 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: May 09 - Aug 27

Flower: simple; yellow; 5 petals; yellow stamens surrounding by greenish pistils; 3 to 7 flowers on a stem
Leaf: dicot; ovate with 3 lobes; potential notch on the outer pair
Fruit: long cylindrical heads with multiple one-seeded bumps; short hairs; tiny beak

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: mixed conifer --- montane, subalpine, woodlands, meadows
Typical location: Water Canyon

This is a small, inconspicuous, and dainty plant with a species name that means "not attractive" or "drab". The plant is only indirectly pollinated by bees. The bees leave a large amount of pollen on the petals which is then washed down onto the stigmas by dew and rain.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Tadpole Buttercup

Photo: Craig Martin

Tadpole Buttercup

Photo: Chick Keller

Tadpole Buttercup, Los Alamos Buttercup

RARA (Ranunculus ranunculinus)

Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercups)
Size: 3 - 6 in (8 - 15 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Apr 21 - Jun 01

Flower: simple; yellow; starlike; 5 or 6 petals; sepals spreading from the base
Leaf: dicot; basal leaves oval to semi-circular; leaflets lobed with smooth margins
Fruit: heads of small or one-seeded fruits (achenes)

Status: native; locally common
Habitat: ponderosa --- montane, open rocky slopes, sage
Typical location: Los Alamos

Common on north-facing canyon slopes in restricted areas in a few states. Appears soon after snow-melt.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Fendler's Meadow Rue

Photo: Christina M. Selby

male flower

Photo: male flower by Lonny Holmes

female flower

Photo: female flower by Gail

Fendler's Meadow Rue , Meadowrue

THFE (Thalictrum fendleri)

Family: Ranunculaceae (Buttercups)
Size: 36 - 72 in (91 - 183 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Jun 11 - Aug 02

Flower: simple; separate male and female flowers; tassel-like stamens without petals in green to yellow (male), spiky flowers becoming pink as they mature (female); arching branched cluster of flowers
Leaf: dicot; compound blades divided into segments of varying shapes, often with 3 lobes
Fruit: female flowers have clusters of immature fruits that develop into hard, black stubs

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

Fendler's Meadow Rue is very delicate and often overlooked. The stems are hairless and green to purple in color. The leaves unfold in swirls from a small globe. The male and female flowers of the plant are usually located on separate plants. The flowers are pollinated by wind.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Fendler's Ceanothus

Photo:

Fendler's Ceanothus

Photo: Chick Keller

Fendler's Ceanothus

Photo: Ken -ichi Ueda

Fendler's Ceanothus, Buckbrush, Fendler's Whitethorn

CEFE (Ceanothus fendleri)

Family: Rhamnaceae (Buckthorns)
Size: up to 36 in (91 cm)
Growth: shrub; perennial
Blooms: May 19 - Jul 17

Flower: simple; white; form clusters at the end of the stems; all flowers bloom at once
Leaf: dicot; narrow dark green leaves; alternate arrangement
Fruit: three-celled capsules; pink and glossy; forming a rounded triangle

Status: native; common
Habitat: ponderosa --- open coniferous forest

Thorny shrub that can be either upright or low and sprawling. There are usually several plants found together in the same place.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Alderleaf Mountain Mahogany

Photo: Jess Demoss

Alderleaf Mountain Mahogany

Photo: Chick Keller

Alderleaf Mountain Mahogany

Photo: Mary Carol Williams

Alderleaf Mountain Mahogany, Silverleaf, Mountain Mahogany

CEMO2 (Cercocarpus montanus)

Family: Rosaceae (Roses)
Size: 78 - 156 in (198 - 396 cm)
Growth: shrub, tree; perennial
Blooms: Apr 15 - May 19

Flower: simple; red and yellow; non-showy; trumpet-shaped
Leaf: dicot; leaves almost evergreen in nature; dark on top and fuzzy on the bottom
Fruit: feathery, silvery-white fruits

Status: native; common
Habitat: pinyon-juniper --- rocky hillsides, cliffs, open woods, mesas

The plant fixes nitrogen and is good for revegetation and erosion control. The foliage is a favorite of deer. In the wild, the plant generally remains as a shrub and does not obtain a tree-like form.

Info    Photos   Distribution   Tree Guide
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.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Old Man's Whiskers

Photo: Craig Martin

Old Man's Whiskers

Photo: Craig Martin

Old Man's Whiskers

Photo: morel hunter

Old Man's Whiskers, Prairie Smoke, Purple Avens

GETR (Geum triflorum)

Family: Rosaceae (Roses)
Size: 6 - 15 in (15 - 38 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: May 24 - Jul 03

Flower: simple; white petals with pink and mostly covered with pink sepals; arranged in clusters of 3 to 5 flowers; nod downwards and mostly closed and bud-like
Leaf: dicot; divided leaves with 7 to 17 primary leaflets; may have secondary leaflets in between
Fruit: feathery seed pods

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

Old Man's Whiskers is semi-evergreen with some of the basal leaves turning purplish and remaining over winter. The flowers attract bees with both nectar and pollen, the later is dislodged by using a sound technique known as buzz-pollinating.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Rockspiraea

Photo: Chick Keller

Rockspiraea

Photo: Craig Martin

Rockspiraea, Mountain Spray, Glandular Oceanspray

HODU (Holodiscus dumosus, Holodiscus discolor)

Family: Rosaceae (Roses)
Size: 2 - 8 in (5 - 20 cm)
Growth: shrub; perennial
Blooms: Aug 01 - Sep 10

Flower: simple; pink to white; multi-branched, feathery cluster of small blooms
Leaf: dicot; dark green; lobes along top edge; occurring mainly on spur branches
Fruit: tiny, dry capsules each bearing 1 seed

Status: native; uncommon
Habitat: mixed conifer --- dry, rocky cliffs and hillsides in ashy soil
Typical location: Valle Canyon

This intricately branched, spreading shrub has reddish twigs and aromatic, deciduous foliage. The branches originate from the root crown and spread outward.

Info    Photos   Distribution   
Mountain Ninebark

Photo: Chick Keller

Mountain Ninebark

Photo: Jerry Oldenettel

Mountain Ninebark

Photo: Matt Lavin

Mountain Ninebark

PHMO4 (Physocarpus monogynus)

Family: Rosaceae (Roses)
Size: 72 - 84 in (183 - 213 cm)
Growth: shrub; perennial
Blooms: May 19 - Jul 17

Flower: simple; white tinged with pink; 5 petals arranged in a cup-like structure; overall appear in rounded clusters
Leaf: dicot; simple, palmately lobed; alternate arrangement; turn red in the fall
Fruit: pointed follicles arranged in upright hemispherical clusters; initially red and then turning reddish brown

Status: native; common
Habitat: mixed conifer, ponderosa --- rocky, dry hillsides
Typical location: Rendija Canyon

Plants in the genus Phtsocarpus are known as “ninebark” due to its distinguishing feature of ragged peeling bark revealing several layers and colors. Mountain Ninebark is found at elevations between 5,500 and 10,000 ft (1,700 and 3,000 m). The roots have been used by Native Americans in a pain-relieving poultice, while the twigs are food for wildlife.

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Woolly Cinquefoil

Photo:

Woolly Cinquefoil

Photo:
Don Loarie

Woolly Cinquefoil

POHI6 (Potentilla hippiana)

Family: Rosaceae (Roses)
Size: 2 - 20 in (5 - 51 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Jun 13 - Sep 10

Flower: simple; yellow; 5 non-overlapping petals departed by hairy sepals; borne in small clusters
Leaf: dicot; green one top and silvery on bottom; toothed edge; hairy; folds up at edges; multiple leaflets with single terminal
Fruit: many tiny greenish yellow capsules

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

Woolly Cinquefoil grows from about 4,300 ft (1,220 m) to as high as 12,000 ft (3,660 m). It grows quickly in disturbed sites and in warms areas. It has high seed production potential. The genus name of Pontentilla means “powerful” related to the plant’s medical uses for expediting childbirth and soothing burns and sores.

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Chokecherry

Photo: Chick Keller

Chokecherry

Photo: Jennifer Macke

Chokecherry

Photo: Jerry Oldenettel

Chokecherry, Bitterberry, Western Chokecherry

PRVI (Prunus virginiana)

Family: Rosaceae (Roses)
Size: 72 - 240 in (183 - 610 cm)
Growth: shrub, tree; perennial
Blooms: May 07 - Jun 19

Flower: simple; white with yellow centers; arranged in dense clusters
Leaf: dicot; dark-green above and gray-green beneath; elliptic to obovate with sharply toothed margins
Fruit: red berries ripening to dark purple

Status: native; common
Habitat: mixed conifer --- fields, mountains, along fresh water
Typical location: Valle Canyon

Chokecherries form dense thickets and are important as a wildlife food plant as well as providing protected habitat. The chokecherry is very tart raw but cooking it allows it to be made into a good jelly.

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Prairie Rose

Photo: Chick Keller

Prairie Rose

Photo: Craig Martin

Prairie Rose

Photo: John Brew

Prairie Rose, Wild Rose, Arkansas Rose

ROAR3 (Rosa arkansana)

Family: Rosaceae (Roses)
Size: 6 - 40 in (15 - 102 cm)
Growth: subshrub; perennial
Blooms: Jun 06 - Jul 28

Flower: simple; pink and white; 5 petals; 1 to 4 flowers typically form at and of new shoots; buds deeper pink than open flowers
Leaf: dicot; dark green, hairy, and with serrated edges; compound with 9 to 11 elliptical leaflets
Fruit: round berry-like fruit known as a rose hip with light brown seeds inside; clusters of rose hips remain on the plant throughout fall and winter

Status: native; common
Habitat: ponderosa --- prairies, roadsides, ditches
Typical location: Above Los Alamos

Individual Prairie Rose flowers only last a few day but are fragrant. The flowers only provide pollen, no nectar, to visiting insects. Insects and some mammals feed on the foliage; while some birds like the prairie chicken and quail feed on the rose hips. The plant which is covered with thorns, generally dies back to near the base each year due to freezing.

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Thimbleberry

Photo: Yvonne Keller

Thimbleberry

Photo: Craig Martin

Thimbleberry

Photo: tw61

Thimbleberry

RUPA (Rubus parviflorus)

Family: Rosaceae (Roses)
Size: up to 72 in (183 cm)
Growth: subshrub; perennial
Blooms: Jun 02 - Jul 17

Flower: simple; white with yellow center; large with 5 petals; terminal cluster with 3 to 7 flowers
Leaf: dicot; large, lobed like a maple leaf; fuzzy on both sides; turn gold to brown in fall
Fruit: red, hairy drupelet or aggregate fruit; looks similar to a raspberry

Status: native; locally common
Habitat: mixed conifer --- wooded hillsides, stream banks, canyons
Typical location: Valle Canyon

A thimbleberry is hollow, like a raspberry, so that one can fit it on the tip of a finger like a thimble, potential given the plant its common name. The fruit can be eaten fresh and makes a flavorful jelly but is rarely cultivated commercially as it is delicate. The young shoots of the plant can be eaten raw, and the leaves can be made into a tea for a wound treatment. Thimbleberry provides an important food source for ungulates, small mammals, and birds. The seeds are dispersed by animals.

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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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Fendler's Groundcherry

Photo: nmcoyote

Fendler's Groundcherry

Photo: Alex Abair

Fendler's Groundcherry

Photo: Becky Shankland

Fendler's Groundcherry, Ivy-leaved Groundcherry

PHHEF (Physalis hederifolia var. fendleri)

Family: Solanaceae (Potato)
Size: up to 6 in (15 cm)
Blooms: Jun 01 - Aug 30

Flower: simple; yellow with 5 purplish brown spots; bell-shaped to flat
Leaf: dicot; gray-green; oval; coarsely-toothed
Fruit: calyx enlarges as fruit matures and becomes inflated and papery looking like a Chinese lantern; round, green fruit inside

Habitat: disturbed soil, pinyon-juniper --- Prefers shade. Also common on road edges.

The plant has many hairy, branching stems and is related to the tomatillo. The fruit can be boiled and crushed to be used as a condiment. One of its common names, Ivy-leaved Groundcherry, comes from its species name, hederifolia which in Latin means "ivy-leaved".

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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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Hookedspur Violet

Photo: Krissa Klein

Hookedspur Violet

Photo: Craig Martin

Hookedspur Violet, Blue Violet, Hook Violet; Dog Violet

VIAD (Viola adunca)

Family: Violaceae (Violets)
Size: up to 12 in (30 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: Apr 05 - Jul 12

Flower: simple; blue to purple; single flowers growing on long, thin stems; 5 petals; top 2 may have spurs
Leaf: dicot; heart-shaped; wavy margins
Fruit: hanging ovoid capsule with dark brown seeds

Status: native; common
Habitat: mixed conifer --- woodlands, montane, subalpine, alpine

Scores of flowering plants commonly cover large areas. Often hidden among taller grasses and plants.

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Canadian White Violet

Photo: Craig Martin

Canadian White Violet

Photo: Craig Martin

Canadian White Violet, Canada Violet

VICA4 (Viola canadensis)

Family: Violaceae (Violets)
Size: 8 - 16 in (20 - 41 cm)
Growth: forb/herb; perennial
Blooms: May 07 - Jul 12

Flower: simple; white and yellow, potentially streaked with other colors; bilaterally symmetrical; back of the petals may be more highly colored than front
Leaf: dicot; deep green; heart-shaped with rounded teeth
Fruit: oval capsule; initially green but turning brown when ripe

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

Often grows in clumps. The flowers are edible and can be used in a salad or tea. In contrast, other parts of the plant are poisonous.

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