WILDFLOWERS OF NEW MEXICO

 
 

As tall as a corn stalk and with similar broad leaves, this stout 3–6-foot tall, leafy plant is tipped with a dense, branching cluster of tiny greenish-white flowers. Note the flowering portion can be 1-2 feet long, and the plants often forms dense colonies in moist meadows. Corn Lily is not related to corn (which is in the grass family), and was recently removed from the lily family. It is toxic to livestock, especially sheep.


FLOWER: July–August. Star-shaped flowers have 6 creamy-greenish petal-like tepals; each is 5/16–5/8-inches long and has a green base; the flowering branches are horizontal or angling upward.


LEAVES: Dense basal rosette. Stem leaves alternate, 7–16-inches long (20–40 cm) by 3–8-inches wide (8-20 cm), smaller upward. Blades broad, elliptic to lance-shaped, strongly parallel veined, often pleated, and sheath the stem.


HABITAT: Moist soils in in bogs, seeps, mountain meadows; pine-Douglas fir, spruce-fir forests.


ELEVATION: 8,000–11,800 feet.


RANGE: AZ, CA, CO, ID, NM, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY.


SIMILAR SPECIES: The tall stem, broad leaves, and flower cluster identify this plant in NM.


NM COUNTIES: Common in NM mountains in high-elevation, moist habitats: Catron, Cibola, Colfax, Grant, Lincoln, Los Alamos, McKinley, Mora, Otero, Rio Arriba, San Juan, San Miguel, Sandoval, Santa Fe, Socorro, Taos, Torrance.

 

CORN  LILY

VERATRUM  CALIFORNICUM

Death Camas Family, Melanthiaceae (formerly in Lily Family, Liliaceae)

Perennial herb

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