WILDFLOWERS OF NEW MEXICO

 
 

Low sprawling, hairy, branching, leafy stems to 2-feet long and 1-foot high are tipped with spikes of tiny bluish-purple flowers. Opposite leaves typically have 3 lobes and winged stems. Note the leaf-like bracts are longer than the sepals (calyx) that hold the flower tube.


FLOWERS: April–October. Terminal spike to 6-inches long (15 cm) and 3/8-inch wide (1 cm); funnel-shaped flowers 1/8-inch wide (3 mm) blue, lavender, purple with 5, rounded, petal-like lobes; narrow, pointed bracts 5/16–5/8-inch long (8–15 mm) beneath the flowers is much longer than the sepals (calyx) beneath the floral tube.


LEAVES: Opposite. Blades 3/8–2 3/8-inches long (1–6 cm), usually 3-lobed with the central lobe largest, lobes coarsely toothed, hairy; the base narrows into a winged or flattened stem (petiole) to 3/4-inch long (2 cm).


HABITAT: Sandy, gravelly, loam soils, roadsides, disturbed areas; shortgrass prairies, pinyon-juniper, ponderosa-Douglas fir forests.


ELEVATION: 3,000–8,800 feet.


RANGE: Widespread through central and western U. S.


SIMILAR SPECIES: Hillside Vervain, V. neomexicana var. hirtella, in sw NM, has erect (not prostrate) stems that branch into several slender spikes with widely spaced flowers.


NM COUNTIES: Statewide in low- to mid-elevation, dry habitats.

 

BIG-BRACT  VERBENA

VERBENA  BRACTEATA

Verbena Family, Verbenaceae

Annual herb, weedy

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Leaves have 3 coarsely-toothed lobes, the center the longest (arrow).

The bracts (left arrow) and longer than the sepals (calyx) (right arrow).

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