WILDFLOWERS OF NEW MEXICO

 
 

Growing from a base of fern-like leaves, this is one of the first wildflowers to appear in spring. Heads of tiny, yellow flowers crown the erect, 12–32-inch tall stems. The ripening thin seed pods line the stem as it continues to grow and flower. Note the narrow pods reach 1-inch long and the leaves have narrow segments divided 2–3 times. Fall germinating seeds overwinter as rosettes.


FLOWERS: February–July. Yellow, 4 tiny petals, 1/16–1/8 inch long (2–3 mm), oval shaped; flowers clustered on upright head. Thin, linear seed pods (siliques) are hairless, point outward and upward, slightly curved, 1/2–1 inch long (15–27 mm); stem of pod (pedicel) 3/8–5/8 inch long (8–15 mm).


LEAVES: Alternate, pinnately to bipinnately compound, smaller towards top. Blade 1–4 inches long (2–10 cm), divided 2–3 times with slender, linear, pointed leaflets.


HABITAT: Sandy, gravelly soils, roadsides, disturbed areas; deserts, sagebrush, pinyon-juniper woodlands.


ELEVATION: 4,300–8,300 feet.


RANGE: Introduced, naturalized throughout North America.


SIMILAR SPECIES: Three widespread native species of tansy mustards grow in NM: D. obtusa in the west half of NM has hairy pods when young and leaflets usually with rounded tips; D. incana in the western 2/3rds of NM has lobed leaflets and pods indented to the midrib around the seeds, but not always distinguishable from D. pinnata; Western Tansy Mustard, D. pinnata throughout NM has, hairy leaflets with rounded lobes and club-shaped pods.


NM COUNTIES: Statewide.

FLIXWEED,  TANSY  MUSTARD

DESCURAINIA  SOPHIA

Brassicaceae, Mustard Family

Annual, biennial herb; introduced

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