WILDFLOWERS OF NEW MEXICO

 

The single or clustered stems, 8–20-inches tall, can be woolly hairy to nearly hairless with a basal rosette of lance-shaped, egg-shaped, or spoon-shaped leaves (depending on variety). Numerous yellow flower heads bloom on long stems in a nearly flat-topped array. Note the basal leaves of the two widespread varieties: var. mutabilis has narrow, lance-shaped leaves while var. neomexicana has egg-shaped basal leaf blades. This highly variable species has three varieties  on NM and can hybridize with other Packera species.


FLOWERS: April–July. Clusters have 3–20 flower heads, each head has 8–13 yellow ray flowers, each ray to 3/8-inch long (10 mm), around a yellow disk; 8 or 13 phyllaries beneath the flower are equal length, in one row, and woolly to hairless.


LEAVES: Basal rosette and alternate on stem. Basal leaves lance-shaped, egg-shaped, or spoon-shaped; blades 3/4–2 3/8-inches long (2–6 cm), with margins entire, toothed, or lobed along midrib depending on variety. Stem leaves get smaller toward the top; blades lance-shaped or egg-shaped with rounded tips; margins smooth, toothed or lobed. Leaves, especially on the bottomside, are woolly but thinning with age.


HABITAT: Sandy, gravelly soils, meadows, forest openings, roadsides, disturbed areas, pinyon-juniper, ponderosa forests.


ELEVATION: 5,500–10,000 feet.


RANGE: AZ CO, NM, UT, TX.


SIMILAR SPECIES / VARIETIES: 3 varieties of P. newmexicana in NM: var. mutabilis has 1–3 loosely hairy to hairless stems, and narrowly lance-shaped basal leaves, entire to irregularly toothed, and well-developed stem leaves; var. neomexicana has a single densely hairy stem, egg-shaped basal leaf blades with toothed margins, and well-developed stem leaves; while var. toumeyi, in the Bootheel, has a single stem, egg-shaped, irregularly toothed basal leaves, and inconspicuous stem leaves. Packera was previously included with Senecio and often still lumped together in keys; about 47 combined species plus subspecies and varieties in NM.


NM COUNTIES: Throughout mountains of NM at mid- to high-elevation habitats: Bernalillo, Catron, Cibola, Colfax, Dona Ana, Eddy, Grant, Hidalgo, Lincoln, Los Alamos, Luna, McKinley, Otero, Rio Arriba, San Juan, San Miguel, Sandoval, Santa Fe, Sierra, Socorro, Taos, Torrance, Union, Valencia.

NEW  MEXICO  RAGWORT

PACKERA  NEOMEXICANA

Aster Family, Asteraceae

Perennial herb

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P. neomexicana var. mutabilis has narrow lance-shaped basal leaves (lower arrow) with entire to irregularly toothed edges, and small stem leaves (upper arrow).

P. neomexicana var. neomexicana has egg-shaped basal leaf blades with toothed margins (lower arrow), and well-developed stem leaves (upper arrow).

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