WILDFLOWERS OF NEW MEXICO

 

Give it enough moisture and this 4–20-inch tall, hairy, low-mounding to erect or rounded, plant spreads out the welcome mat, literally. Dozens of showy 1/2-inch wide, purple to pink flowers with yellow and white throats cover the plant. Note the narrow leaves are covered with tiny stiff hairs and have margins that tend to roll under.


FLOWERS: Spring, summer. Purple to lavender funnel to bell-shaped tube, 3/8–5/8-inch long (8–14 mm) and covered with tiny, hairs (use lens), opens into 5 rounded, petal-like lobes each 1/4-inch long.


LEAVES: Mostly alternate. Blades linear to oblong, 1/2–2 3/4 inches long (1–7 cm), to 1/4-inch wide (2–7 mm); surfaces covered with tiny stiff hairs, margins tend to roll under.


HABITAT: Desert scrub, foothills; sandy, gravelly soils.


ELEVATION: 3,000–6,800 feet.


RANGE: AZ, CA, CO, MD, NV, NM, OK, TX, UT.


SIMILAR SPECIES: 6 species in New Mexico, some difficult to distinguish in the field. N. retrorsum (northwest NM) floral tubes 3/16–1/4-inch long (4–7 mm) with purple lobes; N. stevensii (southeast NM gypsum soils) has 3/8–5/8-inch long (8–15 mm) floral tubes with pale lavender lobes; the rare N. xylopodum (southeast NM) has white to pale lavender flowers. N. dichotomum (western 1/2 NM) and N. carnosum (central, southeast NM) have white flowers.


NM COUNTIES: Nearly statewide in low- to mid-elevation, arid habitats (not reported in Harding, Taos, Union counties).

PURPLE  MAT,  BRISTLY  NAMA

NAMA HISPIDA (N. HISPIDUM)

Borage Family, Boraginaceae (formerly Hydrophyllaceae, Waterleaf Family)

Annual herb

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Leaves narrow with the edges rolled under and covered with tiny stiff hairs.

Plants can be erect to low-mounding or rounded.

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