WILDFLOWERS OF NEW MEXICO

 

Plume-like stems 1–4-feet tall are topped with long, dense, spike-like clusters of bright-yellow, tubular flowers with oblong, spreading petals and showy extended stamens. Note the long, slender, pods below the flowers.


FLOWER: April–September. Spike-like plumes of flowers with 4 oblong petals to 3/4-inch long (20 mm) bloom from the bottom of the stalk upward; a dense array of drooping to ascending pods develops below. Pods are 1 1/4–3 1/2 inches long (3–9 cm), smooth, slightly constricted between seeds.


LEAVES: Basal leaves reach 6-inches long (15 cm), pinnate with lobes cut to midrib, and wither by flowering. Stem leaves alternate , with petioles (stems) 1/4– 2 1/2-inches long (7–62 mm);  lower blades pinnate, upper blades broadly lance-shaped, to 6-inches long (15 cm).


HABITAT: Sandy, gravelly, shale, limestone, basaltic, selenium soils; sagebrush, mixed shrublands, grasslands, pinyon-juniper woodlands.


ELEVATION: 5,000–7,000 feet.


RANGE: AZ, CA, CO, ID, KA, MT, NM, NV, ND, OR, SD, UT, WY.


SIMILAR SPECIES: The tall plume with a dense, showy array of bright-yellow flowers and long seed pods distinguish this mustard. Green Prince’s Plum, S. viridiflora, in the 4-Corners region, has  whitish to yellow flowers, clasping stem leaves, and broad basal leaves, usually with entire margins, present at time of blooming.


NM COUNTIES: NW quarter of NM in mid-elevation, dry habitats: Catron, Cibola, Colfax, Dona Ana, McKinley, Rio Arriba, San Juan, Sandoval, Torrance, Union.

PRINCE’S  PLUME

STANLEYA PINNATA

Brassaceae, Mustard Family

Perennial herb

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Flowers bloom from the bottom up the spike-like cluster.

Long, slender seed pods develop underneath the blooming cluster.

Basal leaves wither by blooming; stem leaves alternate on stalk and have stems (petioles) that reach 2 1/2-inches long.

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