WILDFLOWERS OF NEW MEXICO

 

Among the first plants to emerge in the spring, these dainty flowers bust through the leaf litter with 6–15-inch tall stems and dainty whitish, light-blue, cup-shaped flowers. Note the villous, shaggy, hairs that cover the plant, including the back side of the petal-like sepals. Various authors place this species in either the Anemone or Pusatilla genus.


FLOWERS: April–June. Flowers 1 1/2–3-inches wide (38–76 mm) with 5–8, white to pale blue, oblong, petal-like sepals surrounding a column with 100+ yellow stamens. Dense, shaggy hairs cover the back side of the sepals. Each long flower stem has one flower and a whorl of narrow, stalkless leaves (involucral bracts) beneath the flower.


LEAVES: Basal leaves on 2–4-inch long (5–10 cm) stems (petioles). The 5–8 oval leaves are palmately divided into 4–6 leaflets each deeply segmented into narrow lobes.


HABITAT: Sandy, rocky soils; dry open woodlands; ponderosa-oak transition belt to sub-alpine zone.


ELEVATION: 6,500–10,000 feet.


RANGE: AK, CO, ID, IL, IA, KS, MI, MN, MT, NE, NM, ND, SD, TX, UT, WA, WI, WY; Canada.


SIMILAR SPECIES: Cutleaf Anemone, A. multifida, in northern NM, has pink to maroon flowers and silky-hairy, compound basal leaves. Desert Anemone, A. tuberosa, in southern NM, has pink to white flowers and hairless, compound basal leaves.


NM COUNTIES: North to south through central NM mountains in mid- to high elevation habitats: Bernalillo, Colfax, Lincoln, Los Alamos, Mora, Otero, Rio Arriba, San Miguel, Santa Fe, Sandoval, Socorro, Taos, Torrance.


NOTE: Dense silky hairs throughout the plant help trap warm air in the spring, and the parabolic flowers focus warming sunlight to hasten pollen development. Pollinating insects often cuddle in the warm center of the flowers.

PASQUE  FLOWER

ANEMONE  PATENS  VAR.  MULTIFIDA  (PULSATILLA  PATENS  SSP.  MULTIFIDA )

Buttercup Family, Ranunculaceae

Perennial herb

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• Shaggy hairs on the bottom of the petal-like sepals (upper arrow).

• Involucral bracts covered with shaggy hairs (lower arrow).

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