WILDFLOWERS OF NEW MEXICO

 
 

A loose cluster with 10–30 creamy-greenish flowers blooms along a 1–2-foot tall stem from a basal cluster of grass-like leaves. Note the heart-shaped, yellow to green glands at the base of the petals. Named for a good reason, the small, lily-like plants of this family contain deadly poisonous alkaloids, especially the root stock. Two bulbs can be fatal.


FLOWERS: June–July. Creamy to greenish white flowers alternate up the bloom stalk on short stems. Flowers spread open 5/8–3/4-inch (15–20 mm) wide with 6 petal-like tepals 1/4–1/2-inch (7–11 mm) long with yellow to green, heart-shaped glands at base, tips rounded to notched; 6 erect stamens as long as the tepals.


LEAVES: Basal from bulbs. Blades linear, grass-like, 4–12-inches (10–30 cm) long, 1/8–5/8-inch (3–15 mm) wide; seam leaves greatly reduced.


HABITAT: Moist, sandy, gravelly, soils, limestone loam; ponderosa forests to aspen, subalpine forests, mountain meadows.


ELEVATION: 6,500–12,500 feet.


RANGE: Western mountains from Texas to Canada.


SIMILAR SPECIES: The flower stem of Green Death Camas, A. virescens, in much the range and elevation, has well-developed branches and smaller petal-like tepals 1/8–1/4 inch (4–6 mm) long. Medow Death Camas, Toxicoscordion venenosus, in no. NM, has oval basal spots on the petals.


NM COUNTIES: Nearly statewide, except eastern plains, in NM mountains at mid- to high- elevation habitats: Bernalillo, Catron, Cibola, Colfax, Grant, Lincoln, Los Alamos, McKinley, Moro, Otero, Rio Arriba, San Juan, San Miguel, Santa Fe, Sandoval, Sierra, Socorro, Taos, Union, Valencia.

MOUNTAIN  DEATH  CAMAS

ANTICLEA  ELEGANS  VAR.  ELEGANS (ZIGADENUS  ELEGANS)

Death Camas Family, Melanthiaceae (formerly Lily Family, Liliaceae)

Perennial herb from bulb

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The greenish glands at the base of the petals are heart-shaped.

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