WILDFLOWERS OF NEW MEXICO

 

Growing from a basal rosette of leaves, the stems reach 40-inches tall with a one-sided, elongated cluster of showy red, trumpet-shaped flowers. The leaves have an unpleasant smell and the red flowers are pollinated by hummingbirds.


FLOWERS: May–September. Numerous scarlet to red-orange to pink flowers bloom on a one-sided panicle (short stems branching off the main stem), tubular flowers 5/8–1 1/8-inches (15–30 mm) long flair open with 5 long, spreading, pointed lobes, usually with red and white splotches; anthers either inside or protruding beyond floral tube depending on subspecies.


LEAVES: Basal rosette and opposite stem leaves. Blades 3/4–3 1/8-inches (2–8 cm) long with thin, linear segments along the midrib. Leaves get smaller up the stem.


HABITAT: Sandy, gravelly, silty soils of meadows, open slopes; pinyon-juniper, pine-oak, aspen-mixed conifer forests.


ELEVATION: 6,000–11,000 feet.


RANGE: AZ, CA, CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, OK, OR, TX, UT, WA, WY.


SIMILAR SPECIES: 14 species of Ipomopsis in NM; 4 subspecies of I. aggregata with subtle differences in flower color and anther length. The Holy Ghost Skyrocket, I. sancti-spiritus, occurring only along Holy Ghost Creek in the Pecos Wilderness, Sangre de Cristo Mountains, has a 5/8-inch (15–18 mm) long floral tube with no dark spots. Other pink-flowering skyrockets in NM are less that 12-inches tall. The other species of Ipomopsis in NM have white to blue flowers.


NM COUNTIES: Nearly statewide in mid- to high-elevation mountain habitats (absent eastern plains): Bernalillo, Catron, Cibola, Colfax, Dona Anna, Eddy, Grant, Lincoln, Los Alamos, Luna, McKinley, Mora, Otero, Quay, Rio Arriba, San Juan, San Miguel, Sandoval, Santa Fe, Sierra, Socorro, Taos, Torrance, Union, Valencia.

SKYROCKET,  SCARLET  GILIA

IPOMOPSIS AGGREGATA

Phlox Family, Polemonaiceae

Biennial, short-lived perennial herb

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Congested flower cluster (left photo) and widely spread cluster (right).

Flowers grow on one side of stem.

Stamens enclosed in flora tube (above two photos).

Stamens extend beyond throat of floral tube.

Pink flowers (Colfax County, NM).

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