WILDFLOWERS OF NEW MEXICO

 
 

Reaching 1–5-feet tall and wide with stout, gray branches, this dense shrub is covered with clusters of small white flowers in the spring. Note the opposite branches and single midrib vein from the leaf base. Nitrogen-fixing bacteria in the roots help enrich poor soils.


FLOWERS: March–May. Dense, rounded to cylindrical clusters of creamy flowers with 5 small, triangular petals. When dry, the 3-parted capsules explode to expel the seeds, which may reach 1.4 million/acre in dense stands, but harvester ants and rodents often eat up to 99 percent.


LEAVES: Opposite or clustered, evergreen. Blades oval, 1/4–5/8-inch long (6–16 mm), with one prominent vein from leaf base and many indistinct parallel lateral veins; tip rounded, margin entire, surfaces gray-green, minutely hairy.


HABITAT: Dry sandy, gravelly soils, slopes, foothills, gullies; desert scrub, pinyon-juniper, ponderosa-oak woodlands.


ELEVATION: 4,500–7,800 feet.


RANGE: AZ, CA, NM, NV, TX, UT.


SIMILAR SPECIES: Fendler’s Ceanothus, C. fendleri, nearly statewide at higher elevations, has thorn-tipped branches, mostly alternate leaves with 3 veins from the base, and blooms mid-summer.


NM COUNTIES: Southern NM in low to mid-elevation, arid habitats: Catron, Dona Ana, Eddy, Grant, Hidalgo, Otero, Sierra.

DESERT  CEANOTHUS

CEANOTHUS  PAUCIFLORUS  (CEANOTHUS  GREGGII)

Buckhorn Family, Rhamnaceae

Perennial evergreen shrub

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