WILDFLOWERS OF NEW MEXICO

 
 

Like a deck of cards, the wide leaves of this distinctive milkweed are closely stacked up along an erect, 2–3-foot tall stem. Note the cluster of creamy to greenish flowers nestled along the stem within the leaves. The sap is milky.


FLOWERS: Clusters of greenish-cream-colored flowers nestled within the leaves have 3/8–1-inch long stems (peduncles). The petal-like lobes bend back against the stem and the horns extend slightly beyond the hoods. The fruit, a 3 1/2-inch long, smooth pod with a tapering tip, is on a stem bent back against the pod (not S-shaped). The pod dries and splits open to release numerous seeds on feathery plumes.


LEAVES: Opposite leaves on short stems (petioles). Blades, 3–6-inches long (7.6–15.2 cm)and half as wide, elliptic to egg-shaped with a tapering base, thick and stiff with prominent parallel veins that radiate from the midvein.


HABITAT: Rocky, sandy soils, dry prairies, riparian, roadsides; desert grasslands and scrub, pinyon-juniper woodlands.


ELEVATION: 3,800–6,800 feet.


RANGE: AZ, CA, CO, KS, NE, NM, OK, SD, TX, UT.


SIMILAR SPECIES: The widespread but at ranging to higher elevations (to 8,200 feet), Showy Milkweed, A. speciosa, has opposite leaves spaced widely on the stem, dense, rounded clusters of pinkish flowers, and pods with pointed warts.

NM COUNTIES: Statewide in low- to mid-elevation, dry habitats.

BROADLEAF  MILKWEED

ASCLEPIAS  LATIFOLIA

Dogbane Family, Apocynaceae (formerly Milkweed Family, Asclepiadaceae)

Perennial herb

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Inflated hoods (right arrow) of the flower surround the thin, pointed horns (left arrow) that arch toward the center.

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