Native wildflower species flourish in the meadows, mountains, canyons, and deserts of New Mexico. Although they appear delicate and fragile, these blossoms are robust and resilient.
You may discover some of these gems the next time you go along one of the local trails.
In this article, we’ll go through some of the wildflowers you can find in New Mexico. Arranged in color, you’ll discover some of the most beautiful wildflowers you can find across the state.
1. Indian Hemp
Indian hemp is a 3 to 4-foot-tall, sturdy, erect, purple stem that has climbing branches. Their tall, round leaves frequently have a white bloom or coating similar to that on plums.
Tiny, cream-colored flowers are grouped at the ends of branches or on stalks that emerge from the leaf axils. Spindle-shaped pods with tufted seeds are produced.
Yarrow has no branches save for a few towards the top and reaches a height of 3 feet. The leaves are alternate, 3 to 5 inches long, and divided into numerous tiny leaflets on either side of the midrib, giving them a delicate, fern-like appearance.
At the top of the stalk, flower heads are arranged in huge, dense clusters, with each cluster containing one or more flower heads. The flower head comprises 20 to 25 disc flowers and ray flowers that are a similar yellowish-white tint.
3. Queen Anne’s Lace
Queen Anne’s Lace is an upright perennial herbaceous plant that can reach heights of 24 to 67 inches. The stems have purple flushes, and are hollow, striate, and furrowed.
Compound umbels of flowers with a ring of short, strong hairs around the tip are grouped on short pedicels. Each flower has 5 white petals, 2 stamens, and 2 styles, and the ovary’s tip is swollen and has an expanded base.
4. Whorled Milkweed
Whorled milkweed is a 1 to 3-foot tall perennial with a single stem and no branches. Along the stem, the slender, linear leaves are arranged in whorls. In the highest portion of the stem, there are flat-topped clusters of small, greenish-white blooms.
Flowers are aromatic and bloom between June and September, but this plant is regarded as a weed in rangelands due to its toxicity to livestock.
Catnip is a short-lived perennial herbaceous plant that blooms from late spring to autumn and can reach heights and widths of 20 to 40 inches.
It looks like a standard member of the mint family of plants, with brown-green foliage and a distinctive square stem. The fragrant, delicate, bilabiate flowers are typically white with tiny spots of pale purple.
6. English Plantain
English plantain is a perennial herb with rosette-forming leaves and silky, hairy blossom stalks. The basal leaves have a short petiole and are lanceolate, spreading or erect, hardly toothed, and have 3 to 5 strong parallel veins.
The deeply ridged flower stem ends in an ovoid inflorescence of several tiny blooms, each with a sharp bract. Up to 200 seeds can be produced by each flower. The 0.16-inch-wide flowers have 4 bent back lobes, brown midribs, and long white filaments.
7. Blue Vervain
With multiple, pencil-like flower spikes that branch upward like a candelabra, blue vervain is a perennial with a sturdy stem that grows anywhere from 2 to 6 feet tall (This wildflower is also present in Massachusetts. Click here to know more).
A ring of blue-purple flowers surrounds each flower spike; the flowers at the bottom of the spike open first, and the ring of flowers seems to progress toward the spike’s tips. The square, grooved stem, and its branches are topped by rigid, pencil-like spikes.
8. Bachelor’s Button
Bachelor’s button is an annual with gray-green branching stems that can reach heights of 15 to 35 inches. The lanceolate leaves range in length from 0.3 to 1.5 inches.
The flowers are often an intense blue color and grouped in flowerheads with a core cluster of disc florets and a ring of a few big, spreading ray florets in the center.
While in bloom, chicory can reach a height of 5 feet and has a strong, grooved, typically hairless (This wildflower is also present in Wisconsin. Find out more about it.) stem. The stalked, lanceolate, and unlobed leaves have an average length of 3 to 12.5 inches and a width of 0.75 to 3.35 inches.
The flower heads are typically light blue or purple, while white or pink flower heads have sporadically been reported.
The true blue forget-me-not plant has clouds of tiny, yellow-centered flowers with sky-blue petals on the end of hairy stalks that can range in length from 4 inches to a foot.
This perennial bloom lasts for months and self-seeds. Down the stalk to the bloom, there are tiny, tulip-shaped pods that hold the seeds.
11. Common Periwinkle
The common periwinkle is a trailing subshrub that roots along the stems to form vast vegetative colonies and spreads along the ground, seldom twining or climbing but occasionally rising up to 16 inches high.
Early spring to midsummer is when the flowers are primarily formed; they are solitary and located in the leaf axils. They have a five-lobed corolla and are blue-violet, measuring 0.79 to 1.18 inches in diameter.
An annual herb with wings that run down the sides of the stems and narrow, elliptical leaves, sneezeweed can grow up to 3.9 feet tall. 300 or more small, spherical, or egg-shaped flower heads, typically no larger than half an inch in diameter, can grow on a single plant.
Each head can have 400 or more tiny disc flowers, each measuring between 0.047 and 0.094 inches across, with a bottom that is yellow or yellow-green and a tip that is brown or red. Furthermore, there are 7 to 13 red or yellow ray flowers.
13. Green-Headed Coneflower
A sunflower-like perennial, green-headed coneflower’s branching, leafy stem reaches 3 to 10 feet tall. At the top of the stalk are the stemmed flowers.
Each flower measures 3 to 4 inches around and has a cone-shaped core with back-tilted golden rays. When the seeds develop, the central cones lengthen and take on a brownish hue.
The goldenrod wildflower has branched stems that are 1 to 5 feet long, long, narrow, grass-like leaves, and flat, open clusters of small, yellow flowers on top. Rhizomes help flat-top goldenrod spread and grow into colonies.
This goldenrod stands out for its flat-topped flower arrangement and slender foliage. The grass-like leaves of slender fragrant goldenrod have just one rib or vein and tiny resin spots.
15. Birds-Foot Trefoil
The pea family includes the common bird’s-foot trefoil. It is a perennial plant with low growth that has clusters of rich yellow flowers that have reddish undertones.
The stem bends back the lower two of the five narrow oval leaflets on the leaves, giving the impression that they have three lobes or a trefoil shape. The common name comes from the seed pods that follow them; they strikingly resemble bird feet or claws.
16. Black-Eyed Susan
Black-eyed Susan can function as an annual, biennial, or short-lived perennial, depending on the growth environment.
Its most notable characteristic is its bright yellow, daisy-like flowers, which are 2 to 3 inches wide and have black cores. Hairs on the stems, leaves, and phyllaries give the plant a slightly gritty texture.
17. Common Burdock
The stems of common burdock are tall, erect, and branching. At regular intervals, they produce large leaves that can be over 2 feet long at the base and get progressively smaller as they move up the stem.
The little clusters of spherical, thistle-like flowerheads that are produced at the stem’s apex are supported by a few leafy bracts. The flower heads are made up of numerous rows of hairy or hairless, recurved, linear, hooked disc florets that range in color from purple to pink.
18. Bee Balm
Bee balm can be upright and reach heights of 8 to 35 inches. The square stem has oppositely oriented, hairless, or sparsely haired, lanceolate leaves that range in length from 2.75 to 5.5 inches.
The flowers have a thin upper lip and a larger lower lip, and they are tubular and bilaterally symmetric. Wildflowers only have one flower, but some developed varieties have two.
19. Bull Thistle
Bull thistle is a tall monocarpic or biennial thistle with a short lifespan. In the first year, it forms a rosette of leaves and a taproot up to 28 inches long, and in the second year, it forms a flowering stem 3 to 5 inches tall.
The stem has several longitudinal wings with spine tips that run the length of it. The leaves have sharp spines and are deeply lobed and gray-green. The inflorescence is pink-purple, 1 to 2 inches in diameter, and has florets that are all of a similar shape.
20. Dame’s Rocket
In most of the United States, you can find Dame’s Rocket, a short-lived perennial/biennial flower that is native to Europe but grows in meadows and naturalized places.
When fully grown, this plant stands 2 to 3 inches tall and has fragrant 4-petaled lavender flowerheads and dark green foliage.
21. Purple Loosestrife
Purple loosestrife can reach heights of 3 to 7 feet and can cluster into clonal colonies that are at least 5 feet wide. Its numerous upright stems all originate from a single woody root mass. The square-sectioned stems have a reddish-purple color.
The flowers have six petals and 12 stamens, are reddish-purple and are tightly crowded in the axils of bracts or leaves. There are three different flower kinds, and the stamens and styles come in short, medium, or long varieties.
Heal-all is a vine that reaches a height of 2 to 12 inches and has creeping, self-rooting, hard, square, reddish stems that branch at the leaf axes.
A pair of stalkless leaves that protrude on either side like collars are directly below the club-like, rather square, whirling cluster from which the flowers emerge. The flowers are tubular and have two lips; the bottom lip is frequently white and the top lip is a purple hood.
This herbaceous perennial has simple, erect, smooth, 1.5 to 8-foot-tall crimson stems with dispersed alternating leaves. The leaves are pinnately veined, spirally arranged, whole, and narrowly lanceolate.
The inflorescence is an elegantly tapering terminal raceme with symmetrical blooming that occurs from bottom to top. The flowers have four magenta to pink petals and four smaller pink sepals behind them. They range in diameter from 0.75 to 1.25 inches and are slightly asymmetrical.
24. Crown Vetch
A perennial herbaceous member of the legume family is crown vetch. Its stems have a trailing, creeping growth habit and can reach lengths of 2 to 6 feet. The pinnately compound, dark green leaves have 15 to 25 pairs of rectangular leaflets.
At the end of the leaf axils, tiny umbels of pinkish-lavender to white flowers are borne in clusters. From May until August, plants will bloom.
25. Spreading Dogbane
Spreading dogbane has opposing, oval-shaped leaves and small clusters of tiny, pink bell-shaped flowers close to the branch tips. It is a 2 to 3-foot tall, widely branched, bushy perennial.
Many tiny, fragrant, bell-shaped, pink flowers with richer pink stripes inside that are nodding. The plant itself is a relative of milkweed, and the fragrance of the blossoms is lilac-like.
26. Everlasting Pea
Everlasting pea has a winged petiole that is about 2 inches long, alternating blue and green compound leaves, each with a single pair of leaflets, and winged hairless stems.
From the leaf axils, short racemes of 4–11 purple-pink flowers with 5 petals that progressively lose color with age are produced. During the summer and early autumn, the blooming season lasts around two months.
27. Purple Sand Verbena
The prostrate annual purple sand verbena has thick, succulent leaves and pink to purple blooms with white centers.
Flowers are grouped together and covered by five to eight lance-shaped bracts. Although the flowers lack petals, the cleft calyx lobes give them the illusion of having 10 to 16 petals.
The perianth tube can be green or red, whereas the limbs are typically brightly colored but can occasionally turn purplish magenta.
28. Joe Pye Weed
The clump-forming herb known as Joe Pye weed can reach heights of 5 to 8 feet and a width of approximately 4 feet.
The erect, spherical, thick, and purple stems have whorls of leaves at each node. The stems of the plant frequently droop down when it starts to bloom because of the weight of the flowers.
Insects that feed on the nectar the flowers generate are quite active on the plants’ pinkish blossoms, which bloom in the middle to end of the summer.
29. Spotted Coralroot
Spotted coralroot stems are often red or brown, but they can also occasionally be light yellow or cream in hue. Both leaves and photosynthesis-capable green tissues are absent.
Little and recurring, the blossoms appear on all sides of the stalk. The lip petal is bright, clean white with deep red dots, and the side petals are reddish. The sepals are tall, pointed, and dark orange or brown with purple undertones.
30. Wood Lily
Wood lily is a perennial wildflower with bright red-orange flowers that bloom in the mid to late summer and measure between 1 to 3 inches wide. It features upward-facing blooms that are often pollinated by passing hummingbirds and butterflies.
Each flower has 1 to 4 petals and they are positioned on top of an unbranched stem with whorls of 3 to 6 narrow leaves that are around 1 to 3 inches long.
31. Desert Mariposa Lily
The perennial herb known as desert mariposa lily grows up to 20 inches tall with a slender, unbranched stem that occasionally twists. A waxy, 4- to 8-inch-long basal leaf that withers at flowering is present.
One to six tall bell-shaped blooms are arranged loosely in the inflorescence. Three petals and three sepals, which are typically dotted at the bases, make up each flower.
32. Wholeleaf Indian Paintbrush
A perennial with a height range of 6 to 18 inches, wholeleaf Indian paintbrush grows from a woody root and produces a number of leafy stems.
The stalks are capped with spikes of red flowers. The beautiful crimson, or occasionally yellowish, bracts mostly conceal the flowers’ scarlet-tinged greenish petals.
33. Alpine Lily
The alpine lily has smaller, more bell-shaped blossoms than most other species of lilies. With lighter orange or yellow centers, they range in color from yellowish-orange to dark orange-red.
Purple or brown spots can be seen on the petals. The plant thrives in forests at high altitudes and produces flower stalks in the summer.
34. Spider Milkweed
The native spider milkweed is a perennial forb or plant with alternating, whole leaves. The blooms are white and in umbels, usually one per plant and the leaf margins are frequently wavy, making the plant largely green.
Each flower has a center that appears to be rose or purple when inspected closely. From late spring until mid-summer, these milkweeds blossom.
35. Common Plantain
A perennial herbaceous plant called common plantain has a rosette of leaves with a diameter of 6 to 12 inches. Little, greenish-brown blooms with purple stamens are produced in a thick spike that is 2 to 6 inches long and rests atop a stalk.
The seeds of plantain, which are held on the long, narrow spikes that rise well above the leaves, are wind-pollinated and are the main means of reproduction.
36. Canyon Grape
Canyon grape is a vine with low, shrubby growth and hairy stems. It has small, fragrant, greenish blooms, heart-shaped to shallowly three-lobed leaves, tasty, juicy blackberries, and fragrant, greenish flowers.
This plant can be identified by its woody, branching vines that clamber over rocks, bushes, and trees. The bark on these vines is also shredded and peeling.
37. Green Bog Orchid
The number of stem leaves produced by the green bog orchid can vary substantially, and it also bears an inflorescence of-white green flowers. The labellum has a base that is wider than its tip and is frequently paler than the remainder of the bloom.
Usually, the blossoms have a strong fragrance. It grows in moist meadows and forests, bogs, fens, marshes, and on the edges of rivers and roads.
38. Sandbar Willow
A deciduous shrub with a height range of 13 to 23 feet, sandbar willow spreads by basal shoots to produce dense clonal colonies.
The leaves are narrowly lanceolate, broad, green to gray, and have silky white hairs, at least when they are young. The margin is whole or has a few erratically positioned, tiny teeth. After the leaves have begun to emerge in late April, the flowers are produced in catkins.
39. Cardinal Flower
Streambanks, marshes, and moist areas are where you can find the perennial herbaceous plant known as the cardinal flower, which can grow up to 4 feet tall.
The leaves are oblong to oval, up to 8 inches long and 2 inches wide, and have a serrated border. The flowers can reach a width of 1.5 inches and are typically bright crimson with five distinct lobes.
40. Crimson Columbine
Crimson columbine features deep red and soft yellow flowers that hang in a pedant shape. These blooms are 2 inches wide with golden stamens and straight spurs.
The flowers rise on long thin stems above bluish-green foliage and often bloom from late spring to early summer when they attract species of butterflies and hummingbirds.
41. Scarlet Milkvetch
The clumpy perennial herb known as scarlet milkvetch is heavily covered with white hairs. Oblong, pointed leaflets make up the up to 4-inch-long leaves.
The plant’s huge, vivid scarlet blossoms set it apart from the majority of other milkvetches. There are up to 10 flowers in the inflorescence, each measuring one to 1.5 inches long.
42. Trumpet Creeper
Trumpet creeper is a vine that may reach a maximum length of 33 feet and can be seen growing on trees, other plants, buildings, or along the ground. Up to 2 to 7 feet in length, inflexible or woody arching vines branch out from the parent vine.
The blooms grow in terminal cymes of two to eight flowers. Each trumpet-shaped blossom can reach a length of 3.5 inches. They have a reddish-orange tint, a throat that is yellowish, and five shallow lobes that bend backward.
As you can see, there are some incredible wildflowers to find in New Mexico. Use these descriptions on your next New Mexico excursion to help you identify the incredible blooms.
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