WILDFLOWERS OF NEW MEXICO

 

With thick stems 1–2-feet tall and showy bright-yellow to orange blooms, this flower can turn a meadow into a carpet of gold. Note the slender ray flowers, numerous disk flowers, loose rows of green phyllaries beneath the head, and the leathery leaves.


FLOWER: July–October. Usually a single head per stem, 2-inches wide with 30–90 petal-like ray flowers, each 1/2–1 1/4-inches long (12–30 mm), and 100+ disk flowers; 2–3 rows of leaf-like phyllaries cup the head in a loose stack, green often with reddish edges.


LEAVES: Basal and alternate on stem. Basal leaves on stalks (petioles), blades lance- or spatula-shaped to elliptic, 4–18-inches long (10–45 cm), leathery, margins entire, surfaces usually hairless. Stem leaves stalkless with clasping base, lance-shaped, to 1/2-inch long (12 mm).


HABITAT: Moist sandy, gravelly, clay loam soils, open slopes, meadows, roadsides; pinyon-juniper to spruce-aspen forests.


ELEVATION: 7,500–10,800 feet.


RANGE: AZ, CO, NM, UT, WY.


SIMILAR SPECIES: Burn-orange Dandelion, Agoseris aurantiaca, also in NM mountains, has ray flowers only and milky sap.


NM COUNTIES: Northern NM mountains in mid- to high-elevation, moist habitats: Catron, Colfax, Los alamos, Mora, Rio Arriba, San Juan, San Miguel, Sandoval, Santa Fe, Taos.

ORANGE  SKYFLOWER,  CURLY-HEAD  GOLDENWEED

PYRROCOMA  CROCEA  VAR.  CROCEA

Aster Family, Asteraceae

Perennial herb

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