WILDFLOWERS OF NEW MEXICO

 
 

The greenish creamy-white flowers of this 1–1 1/2-foot tall plant bloom within the leaves along the upper stem. Note the unusual flowers with long, slender hoods that extend above the central column (see photo). The toxic, white latex sap of milkweeds can cause skin irritation. The common name zizotes is a Spanish word meaning skin sores. Zizotes is one of the milkweed hosts for Monarch butterfly larva.


FLOWERS: March–December. Loose, few-flowered clusters of flowers grow from the leaf axils along the upper half of the stem. Look closely to see the pale-green, petal-like lobes folded back against the stem. The erect hoods turn from greenish-yellow to white-tipped and extend above the central column; the narrow, pointed horns arch from the hood toward the column. Fruit is a long, slender pod without warts that splits open to release seeds with silky tufts of hair.


LEAVES: Opposite, on short stems (petioles). Blades pale- to grayish-green, oval, 1 1/2–7 3/4-inches long (4–12 cm), surfaces minutely hairy (especially bottom), margins hairy, wavy.


HABITAT: Sandy, rocky calcareous and granite soils, roadsides, disturbed areas; desert grasslands and scrub, pinyon-juniper woodlands.


ELEVATION: 3,300–5,600 feet.


RANGE: CO, LA, NM, OK, TX.


SIMILAR SPECIES: 32 species of milkweed in NM. The flowers with erect hoods that extend up and over the central column distinguish this species.


NM COUNTIES: Southern and eastern NM in low- to mid-elevation, dry habitats: : Chaves, Dona Ana, Eddy, Grant, Guadalupe, Hidalgo, Lea, Lincoln, Luna, Quay, San Miguel, Santa Fe, Sandoval, Sierra, Torrance, Union.

ZIZOTES  MILKWEED

ASCLEPIAS  OENOTHEROIDES

Dogbane Family, Apocynaceae (formerly Milkweed Family, Asclepiadaceae)

Perennial herb

THE CONTENTS OF THIS WEBSITE ARE COPYRIGHTED AND CANNOT BE USED

WITHOUT PERMISSION OF GEORGE OXFORD MILLER

Reflexed (bent back) petals (lower arrow)

Hoods extend over central column (upper arrow)

HOME          SCIENTIFIC NAME          FAMILY NAME           SEARCH YELLOW          SEARCH RED          SEARCH BLUE


SEARCH WHITE         SEARCH CACTI         SEARCH LEAFLESS         GLOSSARY

EMAIL ME