Blooming this week in the environs of Abiquiú, NM
as published in the Abiquiú News in 2016. See what is blooming in 2017.


October 7, 2016

Helianthus maximiliani

Maximilian's Sunflower

Helianthus maximiliani
Sunflower Family (Asteraceae)

Found in moist areas, ditches, stream sides
Seen blooming on October 2, 2016 by the Rio Chama

Prairie and Common Sunflowers have been blooming along the roadsides for a month now and are a sign that summer is coming to an end. These sunflowers start blooming later and are easily distinguished. They can grow to 10 feet tall with numerous flower heads along the stem. This year this patch is only about 5 feet high. Leaves are narrow, light green, folded, up to 12" long and curve downwards away from the stem. The flowers are 2-3" across and are surrounded by long, slender, pointed bristly bracts. Its name honors German Prince Maximilian of Wied-Neuwied who explored parts of the American West in 1832-1834. The roots can be prepared and eaten like those of Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus). Native American tribes of the Great Plains ate them raw, boiled, or roasted. The flower heads are attractive to insects and the seeds are eaten by birds. The leaves are good forage for deer and elk.


September 30, 2016

Xanthium strumarium

Cocklebur
Rough Cocklebur
Clotbur
Woolgarie Bur
Cadillo

Xanthium strumarium
Sunflower Family (Asteraceae)

Found in moist, disturbed areas
Seen on September 22, 2016 in Red Wash Canyon

This is not the bloom of the Cocklebur, it is the fruit, which is egg-shaped, about 1 inch long and covered with tiny hooked barbs. A Cocklebur inspired the Swiss engineer, George deMestral, to invent Velcro in 1948. He examined the burs that stuck to his socks and his dog and discovered that they consisted of hundreds of tiny hooks. It grows to 3 feet tall with rough, triangular, long-stemmed leaves. Flowers are inconspicuous, greenish in color, growing from the base of the leaves and at the ends of the erect stems. It is toxic to grazing animals but has edible and medicinal uses. Native Americans used the leaf tea for kidney diseases, rheumatism, arthritis, tuberculosis, colds, as a blood tonic, and for diarrhea. The Chinese had similar uses. The dried leaves are a source of tannin, a yellow dye is obtained from the leaves, the seed powder has been used as a blue body paint, the dried plant repels weevils from stored wheat grain and the seed oil has been used as lamp fuel. Read more.


September 23, 2016

Dieteria canescens

Hoary Tansyaster
Hoary Aster
Purple Aster
Sand Daisy

Dieteria canescens
Sunflower Family (Asteraceae)

Found at roadsides and on dry, open, sandy areas
Seen blooming on September 15, 2016 in Box Canyon at Ghost Ranch

The Hoary Tansyaster is growing profusely in the area at the moment carpeting roadsides and fields with a purple haze. There are several other species of aster growing in the area, Tanseyleaf Tansyaster, Gray Aster, Alkali Marsh Aster and Small-flowered Tansyaster, but this is the most common. It grows to 3 feet tall with many spreading branches. Leaves are narrow and often withered at the base by time of flowering. Hoary Tansyaster flowers are usually violet-purple but can be lighter violet and even white.


September 16, 2016

Mentzelia multiflora

Adonis Blazingstar
Manyflowered Mentzelia
Desert Blazingstar
Stickleaf
Pegapega
Buena Mujer

Mentzelia multiflora
Stickleaf Family(Loasaceae)

Found at roadsides and on dry, sandy areas
Seen blooming on September 11, 2016 along Highway 554

Blazingstars are also called Eveningstars because they do not open until late in the afternoon, making photography a challenge: this photo was taken at 6.48pm. During the day their flowers are tightly closed so easily overlooked. They are in the Stickleaf family, so named because their leaves have barbed hairs and stick to clothing and fur like Velcro. It grows to 2 ½ feet tall with stout white branched stems. Flowers are 2" across with long yellow stamens. Flowers can be bright yellow but I mostly see pale yellow, almost white flowers in this area. The seeds have been eaten raw or ground into a meal. Medicinally it has been used to treat tuberculosis, as a diuretic, a laxative and as a pain reliever for rheumatism and toothaches. Tewa Indians had one of the most interesting uses for the Blazingstar. When a young boy was old enough to ride a horse for the first time, the Tewa would rub the leaves of the plant over the boy’s skin before he mounted the horse. The sticky plant substance was used to help with the boy’s grip and enable him to ride without falling off. Read more.


September 9, 2016

Gutierrezia sarothrae

Snakeweed
Broom Snakeweed
Broomweed
Matchweed
Kindlingweed
Matchbrush

Gutierrezia sarothrae
Sunflower Family (Asteraceae)

Found at roadsides and on dry, sunny slopes
Seen blooming on September 2, 2016 at Plaza Blanca and many other places

There are many yellow flowers blooming in the area at the moment; Golden Aster, Gumweed (in last week’s blog), Rubberweed, Chamisa, Senecio, Paperflower, to name a few. From a distance they may look similar but get closer and the size of the flowers, the leaves and growth habit will distinguish them. Snakeweed grows like a rounded bush from 12” to 30" high with thread-like leaves. The flowers are tiny with a few petals, less than ¼" across, and grow in dense golden clusters. The shape, height and tiny flowers distinguish it. An abundance of Snakeweed is a sign of over-grazing because cattle dislike the taste. In the winter, Snakeweed dies back, leaving brittle stems that make great kindling. The stems were bound together to make brooms. Snakeweed was used by Native Americans for a multitude of medicinal purposes, including as a treatment for snakebites, indigestion, bee stings, headaches, diarrhea, painful menstruation, colds, fevers and nosebleeds, and as a laxative for horses.


September 2, 2016

Grindelia squarrosa

Curlycup Gumweed
Resinweed
Curlytop Gumweed

Grindelia squarrosa
Sunflower Family (Asteraceae)

Found at roadsides and in disturbed soil
Seen blooming on August 29, 2016 by Highway 554

Gumweeds ooze a whitish, viscous, resinous fluid from their flower buds so are very recognizable. Curlycup Gumweed grows to 2 feet high in a bushy shape with green or whitish stems.  Leaves are oblong and toothed with no stalks. Also very recognizable are the 5 to 6 rows of sticky, hooked bracts around the flower head. Petals may or may not be present. Gumweeds have been used for many medicinal purposes by Native Americans, including as a wash for poison oak rashes and burns and for pulmonary troubles. The resinous sap that covers the leaves has been used as a substitute for chewing gum. Green and yellow dyes can be obtained from the yellow flowering heads and pods. Grindelias are still used for asthma and bronchitis, and in common cough remedies in homeopathic medicine. 


August 26, 2016

Peritoma serrulata

Common Mullein
Great Mullein
Woolly Mullein
Flannel Leaf
Cowboy Toilet Paper, and many more

Verbascum thapsus
Figwort Family (Scrophulariaceae)

Found in open woods, on slopes, in bare, disturbed soil
Photo taken on August 22, 2016 at Abiquiu Lake

In its first year Common Mullein forms a basal rosette of leaves, then the next year grows up to 8 feet tall with large, thick, woolly leaves and flowers in a dense spike. The flowers have five petals and are about ¾” across. A plant can produce up to 240,000 seeds which fall near the base of the parent plant and can lay dormant yet viable in the soil for many years. Common Mullein has become an invasive plant in many parts of the world today. The leaves have been used as lamp wicks as well as toilet paper and were once placed inside shoes to provide both warmth and softness. The dried leaves on the long stalk were dipped into tallow and have been used for torches since the time of the Romans. Traditionally Mullein has been used to treat respiratory problems. A yellow dye extracted from the flowers has been used as a hair rinse as well as to dye cloth. Read more.


August 19, 2016

Peritoma serrulata

Rocky Mountain Beeflower
Stinking-clover
Spider Flower
Navajo Spinach

Peritoma serrulata (Cleome serrulata)
Verbena Family (Verbenaceae)

Found at roadsides and in disturbed soil, and in wildflower seed mixes so these may be escapees.
Photo taken on August 15, 2016 on CR 142

Grows from 2 to 5 feet tall. Flowers are at the top of the stem with four petals and six long purple stamens. Leaves are divided into three narrow leaflets, similar to members of the Pea family. Many species of insects are attracted to it, especially bees, which helps in the pollination of nearby plants. Its seeds can be eaten raw or cooked, or dried and ground into meal. The leaves, flowers and shoots can be cooked and eaten as a cooked vegetable. This plant has been used to make dyes for paint, and as a treatment in traditional medicine. Read more.


August 12, 2016

Physalis longifolia

Wild Tomatillo
Longleaf Groundcherry
Common Groundcherry

Physalis longifolia
Nightshade Family (Solanaceae)

Found at roadsides, stream sides, in thickets and in disturbed soil
Photo taken on August 8, 2016 in a vacant lot in Abiquiu

The Wild Tomatillo is in the nightshade family which includes tomatoes, potatoes, tomatillos and eggplant, medicinal plants and spices. Some members of the family are highly toxic. Wild Tomatillo grows 2 to 3 feet high with angled, purple-green stems. Leaves are lance-shaped with smooth edges and no hairs. Bell-shaped flowers grow drooping from the leaf axils (extreme left in photo). They are greenish-yellow with a brownish-purple center and easily over-looked. The fruit is a green berry inside a large, inflated, paper lantern-like calyx. The berry is edible if cooked. They were used extensively as food by numerous Native American tribes and the root was used to treat headache and stomach trouble, and as a dressing for wounds. Recent scientific research has identified the therapeutic potential of the berries against various carcinomas.


August 5, 2016

Clematis ligusticifolia

Western White Clematis
Virgin's Bower
Old Man's Beard
Yerba de Chiva

Clematis ligusticifolia
Buttercup Family (Ranunculaceae)

Found at stream sides and in open woods
Photo taken on July 22, 2016 by the Rio Chama

A trailing woody vine growing to 16 feet long climbing over shrubs, trees and fences. Masses of creamy white flowers can blanket a tree. The numerous flowers produce seeds covered in long silky hairs which catch the light. Look for them in a few weeks’ time, they are beautiful. This species’ traditional name, Pepper Vine, referred to the acrid, peppery taste of the stems and leaves. Pioneers used it to spice up food. It is said that the crushed roots were placed in the nostrils of tired horses to revive them. It contains essential oils and compounds which are extremely irritating to the skin and mucous membranes. Despite its toxicity Native Americans chewed stems and leaves as a remedy for colds and sore throats. Roots were dried and powdered for use as shampoo. Read more.


July 29, 2016

Ipomopsis longiflora

Flaxflowered Gilia
Pale Trumpets
Blue Gilia, Starflower
Longflowered Skyrocket

Ipomopsis longiflora
Phlox Family (Polemoniaceae)

Found in open, sandy areas
Photo taken on July 22, 2016 in Plaza Blanca

This delicate plant grows to 18 inches with many branches, and slender grey-green leaves and stems. Flowers are white, light blue or lavender with a floral tube up to 3 inches long. It blooms from spring to fall depending on the rains, as so many do. Native Americans used ipomopsis to treat a variety of ailments. The leaves were boiled with the resulting liquid taken for stomachaches; crushed leaves and flowers were steeped into a tea that was taken for headaches, used on sores, and served as a hair tonic to prevent baldness and lengthen the hair; and the plant was chewed together with salt to treat heartburn. An infusion of the flowers was mixed with feed and given to sheep with stomach disorders (from Kansas Wildflowers). The Zuni people use the dried, powdered to create a poultice to remove hair on newborns and children.


July 22, 2016

Gaura parviflora

Velvetweed
Small-flowered Gaura
Tall Gaura
Lizard Tail
Velvet Butterfly Weed

Gaura parviflora
Evening Primrose Family (Onagraceae)

Found in disturbed sandy soil, roadsides
Photo taken on July 18, 2016 near the Rising Moon Gallery

Velvetweed can grow to 6 feet tall, but usually less, with hairy stems that branch at the top. The long, lance-shaped leaves are covered in soft hair which make them feel velvety, almost clammy to touch. The flowers grow in a long spike on reddish stalks and are tiny with four pink petals which become darker with age. Only a few flowers are in bloom at the same time, beginning at the bottom of the spike. The flowers open at night and close in the morning, except on cloudy days. Velvetweed can be weedy and invasive. Native Americans used a liquid made from the roots of Velvetweed to treat snakebites, burns, and inflammations. They sometimes stewed the roots with meat.


July 15, 2016

Lygodesmia juncea

Skeleton Plant
Rushpink

Lygodesmia juncea
Sunflower Family (Asteraceae)

Found in disturbed sandy soil, roadsides
Photo taken on July 7, 2016 off Hwy 554

Grows to 2 feet with branching skeleton-like or rush-like stems and inconspicuous scale-like leaves. The flowers are one inch across, have five toothed petals and long, pink stamens.


July 8, 2016

Thelesperma megapotamicum

Cota
Hopi Tea
Indian Tea
Zuni Tea
Rayless Greenthread

Thelesperma megapotamicum
Sunflower Family (Asteraceae)

Found in sunny, sandy, dry areas, roadsides
Photo taken on June 28, 2016 on CR 162

Indian Teas, of the Thelesperma genus, are widely used as a beverage, for medicinal purposes and as a dye by Native American peoples. Read more. It also known as Greenthread for its narrow, dissected green leaves. Thelesperma have two rows of bracts; the inner one fused together, the outer ones stick out at 90 degrees. Cota, abundant in the Abiquiu area, grows to 2 ½ feet with smooth, wiry stems and threadlike, divided leaves. There are no ray flowers, only disk flowers.


July 1, 2016

Asclepias speciosa

Showy Milkweed

Asclepias speciosa
Dogbane Family (Apocynaceae)

Found in moist, disturbed soil, roadsides
Photo taken on June 24, 2016 by Tierra Azul Acequia

Showy Milkweed is very important to the Monarch butterfly. Plants serve as a host for their eggs and the caterpillars which eat only milkweed. Showy Milkweed grows 2 to 5 feet tall with large, thick leaves in pairs on a stout stem which has a milky sap when broken. The star-shaped flowers are ¾" across with turned down sepals and grow in a cluster several inches across. A 3" long seed pod is produced filled with seeds with long silky hairs. The milky sap can be poisonous if ingested but animals usually avoid the plants. The roots, seeds, young plants and flower buds were eaten and all parts of the plant used for different medicinal purposes. The seed silk was used to stuff pillows and woven into cloth and the seeds strung together to make necklaces.


June 24, 2016

Datura wrightii

Sacred Datura
Jimson Weed
Sacred Thorn-apple

Datura wrightii
Nightshade Family (Solanaceae)

Found in sunny, sandy, dry areas, waste ground
Photo taken on June 23, 2015 on CR 142

If you have never seen this huge flower growing in the wild, you still probably recognize it from Georgia O’Keeffe’s series of paintings called Jimson Weed. The plant grows to 3ft tall and sprawls 4 to 5 feet wide with large, broad, wavy, pointed leaves. Tubular flowers are 4" across and 8" long and are fragrant. The flowers open in the dark and wither a few hours after sunrise. They produce a spiny seed pod which is 1 ½" across, the "thorn apple". All parts of this plant are highly POISONOUS. It is a hallucinogenic and is used by native peoples for medicinal and religious purposes.


June 17, 2016

Sphaeralcea parvifolia

Small-leaf Globemallow

Sphaeralcea parvifolia
Mallow Family (Malvaceae)

Found in sunny, sandy, dry areas, roadsides
Photo taken on June 7, 2016 on Hwy 554

Globemallows in this area usually have five orange petals forming a saucer-shaped flower. The foliage is covered with star-shaped hairs giving it a grey-green appearance. The location and shape of the leaves differentiate the species. They also bloom at different times. The first here was the Scarlet Globemallow, now the Small-leaf Globemallow is carpeting the roadsides. It usually grows to 2 feet but can be taller, with greyish, triangular, wavy-edged leaves. Flowers are ½" to ¾" across. See more Globemallows.


June 10, 2016

Comandra umbellata

Bastard Toadflax
Pale Comandra
Star Toadflax

Comandra umbellata
Sandalwood Family (Santalaceae)

Found in sunny, sandy, dry areas, waste ground
Photo taken on June 7, 2016 on Hwy 554

Despite its colorful common name Bastard Toadflax is neither a noxious weed nor closely related to Yellow Toadflax, nor smells of sandalwood. Bastard Toadflax is a native plant which is semi-parasitic, sometimes attaching itself to the roots of other plants but otherwise making its own food through photosynthesis. It grows to 10" in clumps. Flowers are star-shaped and greenish white to purplish in clusters. Leaves grow up the stems and are lance-shaped, bluish-green and fleshy.


June 3, 2016

Echinocereus fendleri

Pinkflower Hedgehog Cactus
Fendler's Hedgehog Cactus
Strawberry Cactus

Echinocereus fendleri
Cactus Family (Cactaceae)

Found on dry, rocky slopes, pinyon-juniper woodlands
Photo taken on May 28, 2016 in Plaza Blanca

There are several species of cactus that thrive in our area. The first we see are the rich red flowers of the Claret Cup Cactus. Now we are seeing the delicate yellows and apricots of the abundant Prickly Pear Cactus. By the end of June we will see the huge Cholla in bloom with vivid magenta flowers. The Pinkflower Hedgehog Cactus is less common. It grows in clumps with up to 20 cylindrical stems to 12" high. Black and white spines grow from vertical ridges on the stems. Flowers are almost 3" across with a mass of yellow stamens surrounding green stigma. Its fruits are large, red and delicious.


May 27, 2016

Houstonia rubra

Red Bluet

Houstonia rubra
Madder Family (Rubiaceae)

Found in sunny, sandy, dry areas, washes
Photo taken on May 23, 2016 in Red Wash Canyon

Red Bluet is quite common in the area but is easily overlooked because it is only two inches high. It grows in a cushion with narrow leaves. The flower is a tube 1-1½ inches long with four petals. The flower is about ½ inch across and is a purplish pink when it first opens but fades to pale pink as the plant gets older. This is also blooming in Plaza Blanca and Poshuouinge.


May 20, 2016

Oenothera caespitosa

White Stemless Evening Primrose
Tufted Evening Primrose
Fragrant Evening Primrose

Oenothera caespitosa
Evening Primrose Family (Onagreaceae)

Found in sunny, sandy, dry, disturbed areas
Photo taken on May 13, 2016 in Red Wash Canyon

If you are out in the mornings you will see this eye-catching flower blooming by roadsides and up canyons throughout the area. It grows low to the ground with grey-green fuzzy leaves in a basal rosette. Flowers are large, to 4" across, with four heart-shaped petals, and are fragrant. Flowers open in the evening then wilt and turn pink in the heat of the sun. See more of the Evening Primroses that grow in this area.


May 13, 2016

Penstemon secundiflorus

Sidebells Beardtongue
Sidebells Penstemon
Orchid Beardtongue

Penstemon secundiflorus
Plantain Family (Plantaginaceae)

Found in dry, sandy areas, pinyon-juniper woods
Photo taken on May 4, 2016 on Rim Vista Trail, Carson NF

Beardtongue are also called Penstemon, which is a very large genus that is easy to recognize, but it is not so easy to identify individual species. The flowers are tubular with two lips; the upper lip is two-lobed and the lower is three-lobed. The leaves are opposite without stalks. The common name Beardtongue comes from the long, hairy stamen which extends from the throat of the flower. This plant was about 6” high but they can grow to 18”. Flowers are purplish to lavender and grow on one side of the smooth stem. Leaves are thickened and soft bluish-green. Several varieties of Penstemon grow in this area, this is the earliest blooming. Also blooming on the trail were Desert Paintbrush, Perky Sue, Filaree, Thrifty Goldenweed, Eyed Gilia, Slender Phlox, Stemless Townsend Daisy, Fringed Gromwell, Utah Sweetvetch and five varieties of Milkvetch.


May 6, 2016

Tetraneuris ivesiana

Perky Sue
Ives' Four-nerved Daisy

Tetraneuris ivesiana
Sunflower Family (Asteraceae)

Found in open sandy areas, roadsides
Photo taken on April 30, 2016 in Red Wash Canyon

Four-nerved Daisy, or Perky Sue, is distinguished by the petal tips which have three notches. There are several varieties. This one is quite common in our area and grows to 10" with mostly basal, tightly clustered, narrow leaves pointing upwards. Stems and bracts under the flower are hairy but the leaves are not, unlike other species. See more Perky Sues. Also blooming in the canyon were Desert Paintbrush, Cliff Fendlerbush, Rushy Milkvetch, Utah Sweetvetch, Fringed Gromwell, Spiny Blue Bowls, Tawny Cryptantha, Freckled Milkvetch, Bladderpods and Wallflowers. Spring is here!


April 29, 2016

Townsendia annua and Detrius disrespectus

Annual Townsend Daisy & Roadside Litter

Townsendia annua and Detrius disrespectus
Sunflower Family (Asteraceae) & Human Family (Homo sapiens)

Found in hot, dry, sandy soils
Photo taken on April 23, 2016 on CR 142

This cute little daisy is another one of those tough flowers that survives here in this dry, littered environment. It grows only 1-4" high, sometimes in masses. Flower heads are about ½" across and the leaves are hairy. See more Townsend Daisies. I see a lot of trash when I am out looking for flowers. It is disgusting. Es asqueroso. It is also lazy, selfish and disrespectful of the environment that we all share. People know they shouldn’t do it, but do it anyway.


April 22, 2016

Giliastrum acerosum

Spiny Blue Bowls
Desert Blue Gilia
Bluebowls
Prickleleaf Gilia

Giliastrum acerosum
Phlox Family (Polemoniaceae)

Found in dry, open, gravelly areas
Photo taken on April 19, 2016 at Poshuouinge, Santa Fe NF

Grows 3 to 6 inches tall with needle-like leaves and woody stems. Flowers are deep blue with bright yellow stamens and are ½" across. It is also blooming in Red Wash Canyon. Also in bloom at Poshuouinge were Plains Flax, Newberry’s Milkvetch, New Mexico False Carrot, Stinking Milkvetch and Perky Sue.


April 15, 2016

Astragalus newberryi var. newberryi

Newberry’s Milkvetch

Astragalus newberryi var. newberryi
Pea Family (Fabaceae)

Found in sandy, dry areas
Photo taken on April 12, 2016 on Chimney Rock Trail at Ghost Ranch

The Astragalus genus is very large and individual species are usually identified by their seed pod rather than their flower or leaves. This beautiful little plant grows low to the ground with 5 to 11 silky leaflets. Flowers are showy, bright pink/purple with a lighter center and over 1" long. Seed pods are curved and covered in silky, white hairs. This photo shows this year’s plant growing on top of last year’s seed pods. Several varieties of Milkvetch grow in this area. See more Milkvetch. Newberry’s Milkvetch is also blooming in Plaza Blanca, Poshuouinge and Red Wash Canyon. Also in bloom at Ghost Ranch were Annual Townsend Daisy, Bladderpods, Desert Paintbrush and Perky Sue.


April 08, 2016

Cryptantha fulvocanescens (Oreocarya fulvocanescens)

Tawny Cryptantha
Tawny Cat’s Eye
Gray Cat’s Eye

Cryptantha fulvocanescens (Oreocarya fulvocanescens)
Borage Family (Boraginaceae)

Found in sandy, dry areas, waste ground
Photo taken on April 2, 2016 in Red Wash Canyon

The Borage family are low growing, densely hairy plants and have flowers with five petals. Cryptanthas are distinguished by their tiny white clusters of flowers with a yellow center, the “eye”. Plants will often show last year’s dried stems and leaves. This one grows to about 6 inches high in clumps. Several varieties grow in this area. See more Cryptantha. Also blooming in Red Wash Canyon were New Mexican False Carrot, Wallflowers and three varieties of Milkvetch.


April 01, 2016

Juniperus monosperma

One-seed Juniper
New Mexico Cedar
Cherrystone Juniper
Sabina

Juniperus monosperma
Cypress Family (Cupressaceae)

Found in dry soil, on rocky slopes
Photo taken on March 28, 2016 at Abiquiú Lake

Not a flower but a tree in bloom. This Juniper, or Cedar as it is called in these parts, is common in our piñon-juniper landscape. It grows to 25 feet, often with multiple trunks and dead branches. The bark is gray and shredded. You may have noticed some trees with brownish masses. Male trees have yellow cones that turn brown after producing pollen then drop off. Spring winds force clouds of smoke-like pollen into the air. This causes an allergic reaction in many people. Later in the year female trees produce a blue, berry-like cone with a single seed. The berries are a food source for coyotes and birds and were eaten by Ancestral Puebloans. Berries, bark and branches have a variety of medicinal uses. Read more.


March 25, 2016

Vesper bulbosus

Spring Biscuitroot
Bulbous Spring Parsley

Vesper bulbosus
Parsley Family (Apiaceae)

Found in dry, sandy, gravelly slopes
Photo taken on March 14, 2016 in Plaza Blanca

Spring Parsleys are early bloomers with fleshy, pale grey-green leaves divided into lobed leaflets and branched flower heads surrounded by papery bracts which have purplish veins. Flowers are dull-white or purplish with long, purple-tipped stamens. It grows close to the ground with flower stems up to 5" long. Leaves are divided into 3-6 pairs of leaflets. Traditionally the large roots were ground into flour to make bread and biscuits giving these plants the common name of biscuitroot.


March 18, 2016

Aletes sessiliflorus

New Mexico False Carrot
Sessileflower Indian Parsley

Aletes sessiliflorus
Parsley Family (Apiaceae)

Found in dry, sandy, gravelly areas
Photo taken on March 14, 2016 in Plaza Blanca

Flowers in the Parsley family have tiny flowers with five petals in usually flat heads. This family is sometimes commonly called Celery or Carrot. The New Mexico False Carrot grows to 8" high in a dense bright green tuft with dry stalks from the previous year. Leaves are divided into narrow segments.


If you cannot identify a flower from the website send a photo and where you took it to contact@rockymountainsflora.com. Read How to Photograph Wildflowers for Identification for tips.

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