WILDFLOWERS OF NEW MEXICO

 
 

An unbranched, 6–15-inch tall stem, usually single, with little or no hair has several dense, spherical clusters of pale-green flowers. The cylindrical flowers don't appear to quite open, but they're magnets for hungry insects. Note the stout, narrow to oval leaves and flowers with hoods equal to and hugging the anther column.


FLOWERS: June–September. Rounded clusters from upper leaf axils, flowers with 5 green, petal-like lobes that bend back tight against the stem, 5 erect, green to purplish tinged hoods without horns held tightly against and nearly equal in length to the anther column. Pods 4-inches long, pointed, with a smooth surface; dry pods split open to release seeds with silky hairs.


LEAVES: Opposite to irregularly spaced, on short stems (petioles). Blades highly variable, lance-shaped to oblong, 1 1/2–5 1/8-inches (4–13 cm) long, 3/8–2 1/2-inches (1–6.3 cm) wide, margins wavy, surfaces minutely hairy or not.


HABITAT: Sandy, silty soils, slopes, drainages, prairies; shrublands, pinyon-juniper-oak, ponderosa woodlands.


ELEVATION: 4,000–7,300 feet.


RANGE: Widespread in U. S. east of Rockies.


SIMILAR SPECIES: 32 species of milkweeds in NM. The greenish, cylindrical flowers with hoods hugging the central column and no horns help identify this species.


NM COUNTIES: Scattered statewide in mid-elevation, dry habitats.

GREEN  MILKWEED

ASCLEPIAS  VIRIDIFLORA

Dogbane Family, Apocynaceae (formerly Milkweed Family, Asclepiadaceae)

Perennial herb

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Photo © Jim Pisarowicz, NPS, Wind River NP, Creative Commons

Photo © UW-System WisFlora. Creative Commons

Photo ©  D. Busemeyer, SEINet.

Cylindrical flowers with hoods hugging the anther column and no horns.   Photo ©  D. Busemeyer, SEINet.

Photo ©  W S. Alverson, SEINet.

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