WILDFLOWERS OF NEW MEXICO

 

Straight, yellow, wicked spines, 3/8–inch-long, arm the stems, leaves, and bur-like fruit capsules of this bushy, 1–3-foot tall, hairy plant. Note the clusters of yellow flowers with united, crinkly petals and protruding stamens. This weedy plant exploits overgrazed and disturbed habitats and has spread from the Southwest over most of the nation.


FLOWER: May–October. Showy 1-inch-wide (25 mm) flowers have 5 bright-yellow, tissue-like petals surrounding 4 protruding yellow stamens and 1 dark and longer stamen. Small brown seeds develop inside a round berry enclosed in a spiny, 1/2-inch diameter (12 mm) capsule.


LEAVES: Alternate. Blades 2–8-inches long (5–20 cm), 4-inches wide (10 cm), with 2–5 rounded, irregular lobes that cut all the way to the midrib; sharp spines grow along the midrib, veins, and stem (petiole).


HABITAT: Dry, rocky, sandy soils, roadsides, disturbed areas, overgrazed fields; desert grasslands and scrub, pinyon-juniper woodlands.


ELEVATION: 3,300–7,500 feet.


RANGE: Widespread west of the Mississippi River, infrequent eastward. This aggressive range plant has spread well beyond its native range from the Southwest into Canada, the Pacific Northwest, Midwest, and eastern U. S., Russia, and Australia.


SIMILAR SPECIES: The yellow flowers distinguish this species from the other Nightshades with prickly fruit.


NM COUNTIES: Widespread statewide (not reported in Luna, Taos cos.) in low- to mid-elevation, arid habitats.

BUFFALO  BUR

SOLANUM  ROSTRATUM

Nightshade Family, Solanaceae

Annual herb

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Leaves have deeply-cut, rounded  lobes with sharp spines along the midrib, veins, and stem (petiole).

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