New Mexico Wildflowers: Buttercup Family



Flowers are organized alphabetically by genus and species. Hover over a photo series to control the images.


Baneberry (Actaea rubra)

So far, no pics of a white "bottle brush" spray of baneberry flowers, just of the leaves and of the green and ripe berries (the last can also be white). Please tune in next year to see if I've come across any of the flower clusters. By the way, the berries are toxic.  


Golden Columbine (Aquilegia chrysantha)

In the Albuquerque area I know of only one place where Golden Columbines grow in profusion: Carlito Springs Open Space, where no doubt they'e introduced. My 2016 images are enlarged from snapshots, so the quality is poor. I'd go back and take better photographs, but Carlito Springs is closed for renovation. In 2020 I found a Golden Columbine growing in a median garden in my neighborhood, so was able to add a couple of close-up shots.


Red Columbine (Aquilegia desertorum or elegantula)

Two species of red columbine are present in the Sandias: the Desert Columbine (Aquilegia desertorum) and the Rocky Mountain Red Columbine (A. elegantula). They're difficult to tell apart and can hybridize, so I won't attempt to distinguish them.


Bigelow's Clematis, Leather Flower (Clematis bigelovii)

There is more than one Clematis in New Mexico with this drooping bell shape. My ID of these examples as C. bigelovii is based on the shapes of the leaves.


Rocky Mountain Clematis (Clematis colombiana)

The delicate blossoms of this low vine often look beat up. They start out a very light purple and quickly fade to a near-white. Litttlefield and Burns include this species under their pink to lavender flowers.


Sapello Canyon Larkspur (Delphinium sapellonis)

This species occurs only in New Mexico. It's common in the Sandias, less so elsewhere. The brown is not due to flower death but is part of the regular coloration.


Organ Mountain Larkspur (Delphinium wootonii)


Fanleaf Buttercup (Ranunculus Inamoenus)


Fendler's Meadow-Rue (Thalictrum fendleri)

Fendler's meadow-rue plants are either male or female; so far, I have pictures of a male plant only. The male flowers look a little like a mop; the "four petals" are a calyx. Otherwise, look for three groups of three leaves each.