WILDFLOWERS OF NEW MEXICO

 

Clumps of 6–14-inch tall, leafy stems decorate mountain meadows and openings with clusters with numerous tubular, blue-lined flowers which never open widely. Note the flowers bloom from the leaf axils along the stem forming a spike-like array. 


FLOWERS: August–October. Lance-shaped, narrow bracts, shorter than the flowers, surround the 1–1 1/2-inch (2.5–4 cm) long blooms; flowers tube-shaped, often smaller at top than middle, 5 petals united with pleat-like membranes that separate at the top of the floral tube with small, spreading, pointed tips; the throat white lined with blue, 5 white stamens.


LEAVES: Opposite, stemless (sessile), numerous. Blades linear to lance-shaped, 1–1 1/2-inches (2.5–4 cm) long, 1/4–3/4-inch (0.7–2 cm) wide, smaller upward.


HABITAT: Sandy, loamy moist soils; ponderosa to sub-alpine meadows, slopes, and forest openings.


ELEVATION: 5,700–11,300 feet.


RANGE: AZ, CA, CO, NM, TX, UT; widespread in all states west of Rocky Mts.


SIMILAR SPECIES: Mountain Gentian, G. parryi (see photo), in northern NM mountains, has broader bracts and tubular, pleated flowers with a white throat and wide-spreading blue tips with white dots, and blooms in clusters from the stem tips.


NM COUNTIES: Western 2/3 NM in mid- to high-elevation, moist habitats: Bernalillo, Carton, Cibola, Colfax, Grant, Lincoln, Los Alamos, Mora, Otero, Rio Arriba, San Juan, San Miguel, Sandoval, Santa Fe, Sierra, Socorro, Taos, Torrance.

PLEATED GENTIAN

GENTIANA AFFINIS

Gentian Family, Gentianaceae

Perennial herb

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SIMILAR SPECIES

Mountain Gentian, in northern NM mountains, has tubular, pleated flowers with a white throat and wide-spreading blue tips with white dots, broad bracts sheathing the flower, and blooms in clusters from the stem tips.

Small, slender bracts beneath the petals (arrow).

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