WILDFLOWERS OF NEW MEXICO

 
 

Spreading by tuberous rhizomes, this 4–17 inch tall plant has branching stems with slender, opposite leaves widely spread along an angular stem that may be hairless or covered with sticky, glandular hairs. Note the leaves join around the stem, and the small, white flowers have 5 petals notched less than 1/2 their length.


FLOWER: May–August. Flowers solitary or in open clusters on pedicles (short stems) that are always densely glandular-hairy; 5 white petals have rounded tips with a V-shaped notch; 10 anthers are dark brown to purple. Fruit an oblong (not spherical) capsule 3/16 inch long (5 mm).


LEAVES: Opposite, sessile (without stalks) with one prominent vein. Blades linear to narrowly lance-shaped, 3/4–4 inches long (2-10 cm) by 1/16–3/4 inch wide (2-20 mm); margins flat, tip pointed, surfaces from smooth to covered with glandular hairs.


HABITAT: Sandy, gravelly soils of meadows, foothills, slopes, drainages, canyons, disturbed areas; juniper-oak woodlands, ponderosa/white pine-Douglas fir, mixed conifer-aspen forests.


ELEVATION: 6,500–10,200 feet.


RANGE: AZ, CA, CO, ID, NM, NV, OR, WA, WY.


SIMILAR SPECIES: Ten-rayed Starwort, Stellaria longipes, has five petals so deeply notched that they look like 10 petals, and narrow leaves that only reach 1 inch long. Meadow Chickweed, Cerastium arvense, widespread in similar habitats, reaches only 8 inches tall and has leaves less than 1 inch long.


NM COUNTIES: Widespread in mountainous areas in mid- to high-elevation habitats: Bernalillo, Catron, Cibola, Colfax, Curry, Dona Ana, Grant, McKinley, Lincoln, Los Alamos, Otero, Rio Arriba, San Juan, San Miguel, Sandoval, Santa Fe, Sierra, Socorro, Taos, Torrance.

TUBER  STARWORT

PSEUDOSTELLARIA  JAMESIANA

Pink Family, Caryophyllaceae

Perennial, herb

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Leaf surfaces can be hairless (right) or covered with glandular hairs (left).

Leaves are narrow with a central vein, and attached directly to the stem (sessile)