WILDFLOWERS OF NEW MEXICO

 

Look closely or you might miss the tiny, colorful rays on of this bushy, branching, 1–2-foot tall plant. Note the thread-like leaves and tiny rays at the base of the tall, domed central cone.


FLOWER: May–October. The 5–10, yellow to maroon or bicoloered petal-like ray flowers, 1/8–3/8-inch long (3–10 mm), surround a greenish-yellow, domed disk reaching 1/2-inch high (15 mm). The flower heads grow on 2 1/2-inch long (6.5 cm) stems (peduncles) that barely extend above the leaves.


LEAVES: Basal leaves lance-shaped 2–5-inches long (5–12.5 cm), lobed along midrib (pinnately). Stem leaves alternate; upper leaves hairy, 3 1/2-inches long (8.7 cm), with string-like, divided segments 3/16-inch wide (5 mm).


HABITAT: Dry, sandy, gravelly, loamy soils of roadsides, meadows; prairies, plains, pinyon-juniper, ponderosa forests.


ELEVATION: 3,800–8,200 feet.


RANGE: AZ, CO, KA, NM, TX.


SIMILAR SPECIES: Prairie Coneflower, R. columnifera, also statewide, has 1-inch long (25 mm), yellow to maroon ray flowers on 1–4-foot tall stems well above the basal leaves.


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

SHORT-RAY PRAIRIE CONEFLOWER, GREEN PRAIRIE CONEFLOWER 

RATIBIDA  TAGETES 

Aster Family, Asteraceae

Perennial herb

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