WILDFLOWERS OF NEW MEXICO

 

The colorful flower heads of this plant shout for attention. Perched on the top of 1–4-foot tall, leafless, hairy stems, the flowers may be solid yellow, maroon, or a blend. The plant forms dense, rounded clumps with as many as 15 or more stems. Note the drooping rays surrounding the long cylinder of tiny disk flowers.


FLOWER: April–July. 4–12 petal-like ray flowers, reach 1-inch long (25 mm) with slightly notched tips. The rays droop around a 1/2–2-inch tall (12–50 mm) column of brown disk flowers.


LEAVES: Basal leaves often wither by flowering. Alternate stem leaves mostly on the bottom portion of the plant.  Blade compound, 2–4-inches long (5–10 cm), roughly hairy; cut into long, narrow opposite lobes (pinnate) along midrib.


HABITAT: Dry to moist, sandy, gravelly, loamy, limestone soils of prairies, meadows, roadsides, disturbed areas; pinyon-juniper, pine forests.


ELEVATION: 4,000–9,000 feet.


RANGE: Widespread west of the Mississippi River.


SIMILAR SPECIES: Short-ray Prairie Coneflower, R. tagetes, statewide, has short rays and flower heads barely above the leaves. Blackeyed Susan, Rudbeckia hirta, has yellow ray flowers and a dome-shaped (not cylindrical) central disk.


NM COUNTIES: Statewide at numerous low- to mid-elevation habitats.

PRAIRIE  CONEFLOWER,  MEXICAN  HAT  (red  &  yellow)

RATIBIDA  COLUMNIFERA (Ratibida  columnaris)

Aster Family, Asteraceae

Perennial herb

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Leaf blade cut into long, narrow opposite lobes (pinnate) along midrib (arrow).

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