WILDFLOWERS OF NEW MEXICO

 
 

Woody stems from a prostrate, branching root crown form a dense rounded clump of silvery leaves. Note the showy yellow flower head on a short, leafless flowering stem (scape or peduncle), and the tightly clustered basal leaves. Over range and habitat, leaf surfaces vary greatly from silky to short-stiff hairs, depending on species variety.


FLOWERS: April–October. Peduncle 1/4–3 1/8-inches tall (50–80 mm) topped with one flower head, up to 35 peduncles per clump. Each head has 8–15 yellow, petal-like rays, each ray to 3/4-inch long (20 mm) and tipped with 3 rounded lobes; disk flowers yellow; hairy phyllaries beneath the rays


LEAVES: Basal only. Leaves linear to spatula-shaped, to 4-inches long (10 cm) by 5/16-inch wide (8 mm) with one distinct vein or nerve; margin entire, tips pointed; surfaces covered with silky hairs (var. caepitosa in alpine habitats) or short, stiff hairs (var. acaulis in e. NM), or shaggy to hairless (var. arizonica in w. NM). To add to the confusion, the features of the varieties intergrade with each other.


HABITAT: Rocky, sandy soils, roadsides, forest edges, slopes; shortgrass prairies, sagebrush, desert grassland and scrub, pinyon-juniper, pine-fir, alpine zone.


ELEVATION: 4,500–12,000 feet.


RANGE: Widespread from Rocky Mountains westward.


SIMILAR SPECIES: Other Tetraneuris and Hymenoxys species have similar yellow rays, but this is the only species with a root crown with only basal leaves and stemless flowers on leafless scapes, or peduncles. The look-alike Ives’ Four-nerve Daisy, T. ivesiana, over much the same range and habitat, also has tightly clustered basal leaves, but has erect stems with alternate leaves.


NM COUNTIES: Nearly statewide (not reported in Catron, Sierra cos.) in mid- to high-elevation, rocky habitats.

ALPINE  STEMLESS  DAISY

TETRANEURIS  ACAULIS

Aster Family, Asteraceae

Perennial herb

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Tetraneurus acaullis var. caepitosa, Sandia Crest

Tetraneurus acaullis var. caepitosa, Taos Gorge, with tall peduncles.

Tetraneurus acaullis var. arizonica, Grand Canyon

Tetraneurus acaullis var. caepitosa, Sandia Crest

Tetraneurus acaullis var. caepitosa, Sandia Crest

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