WILDFLOWERS OF NEW MEXICO

 
 

Waxy (glaucous), branching stems reach 20–78 inches tall with clusters of 1–2 pink-to-whitish flowers partially enclosed in a papery sack. Note that the fruit is a tiny egg-shaped, wart-covered seed in the center of a papery disk.


FLOWER: June–September. Clusters of 1–2 small, white to pale-pink flowers, 1/2–3/8 inch long (6–9 mm), each surrounded by 5 united, pale-green, papery bracts (involucre) with rounded lobes. The edges of the bracts are joined for 60–90 percent of their length to form a bell-shaped sack around the flower. In fruit, the bracts enlarge into a pale, tan disk with an egg-shaped seed, 3/16 inch long (4 mm), protruding in the center. The seed has a warty surface with 5 ribs, and is usually hairless, occasionally with short, fine hair (use lens). The plant commonly has cleistogamous flowers (closed and self-fertilized).


LEAVES: Opposite. Blades gray-green, linear to lance-shaped, 2–4 inches long (5–10 cm), and mostly more than 3/8 inch wide ( 1 cm); surfaces hairless, waxy (glaucous) below.


HABITAT: Dry sandy, rocky soils; dunes, pastures, grasslands, canyons, roadsides; desert grasslands, pinyon-juniper woodlands and savanna.


ELEVATION: 3,850–7,200 feet.


RANGE: AZ, CO, KA, NE, NM, OK, UT, TX.


SIMILAR SPECIES: Narrow-leaf Four-O’Clock, M. linearis, statewide, has showy magenta flowers, leaves mostly less than 3/8 inch wide, and seeds with ribs and a warty surface with hairs.


NM COUNTIES: Scattered statewide in low- to mid-elevation, dry habitats: Bernalillo, Chaves, Cibola, Curry, Dona Ana, Eddy, Grant, Lea, Los Alamos, McKinley, Otero, Quay, Rio Arriba, Roosevelt, San Juan, Sandoval, Socorro, Taos, Torrance, Union.

SMOOTH  FOUR-O’CLOCK

MIRABILIS  GLABRA

Four-O’Clock Family, Nyctaginaceae

Perennial herb

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In fruit, the bracts enlarge into a flat, tan disk with a protruding seed in the center.

The tiny, egg-shaped seed has 5 ribs separated by a warty surface usually with no hairs.

Leaves  are linear to lance-shaped, hairless, and mostly greater than 3/8 inch wide.