WILDFLOWERS OF NEW MEXICO

 
 

Spike-like clusters of tubular, rosy-purple to white flowers top the erect, 1–4 foot tall stems of this attractive trailside flower. The sepal cup (calyx tube) holding the petals remains after the petals fall and is equally colorful. Like all mints, the stems are angled and square.


FLOWERS: Summer. Pink, rosy-lavender, purple to white. Cylindrical spike-like clusters in dense whorls around upper stem; each flower tubular with two lips, 1/4–1/2 inch (7–15 mm) long. Hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies love the flowers.


LEAVES: Opposite, triangular to oval, margins coarsely toothed, blade 1/2–3 inches long with prominent veins, widely spaced on stem.


HABITAT: Sandy, rocky soils, mountain slopes, moist canyons; mixed conifer-oak, spruce-fir forests.


ELEVATION: 5,700–11,300 feet.


RANGE: AZ, CO, NM, TX.


SIMILAR SPECIES: Flora Neomexicana (Allred, 2012) says this species exhibits a “varied and bewildering array of features.” The 5 suggested varieties have slight differences in bract size and flower size and  color. Agastache pallidiflora var. neomexicana, endemic to the central and south-central mountains, tends to have brighter pink to lavender flowers. A. pallidiflora var. pallidiflora, uncommon in the southwest mountains, has white to pinkish-tinged flowers. 7 species of Agastache occur in NM.  A. wrightii (Boothill mountains) has pale blue to pale violet flowers 1/8–1/4 inch (3–5 mm) long.


NM COUNTIES: Common in mountains in the western half of NM in mid- to high-elevation habitats.

GIANT  HYSSOP

AGASTACHE PALLIDIFLORA

Lamiaceae, Mint Family

Perennial herb

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The petals drop leaving the colorful calyx tube.

Agastache flowers provide a rich source of nectar for a variety of long-tongued pollinators. (Sandia Mountains)

Note the square stems (arrow), and opposite, deeply veined leaves with toothed edges.

Flower color varies from deep purple to lavender, pink, or white. (Magdalena Mts.)

Sandia Mountains.