New Mexico Wildflowers: Buttercup Family

(Ranunculaceae)

 

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 as a cultivar in a median garden, 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.

 

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.

 

White Virgin's-Bower (Clematis ligusticifolia)

Also known as deciduous traveler's-joy, western white clematis, barba de chivato (sneak's beard), and barba de viejo (old man's beard).

 

Leather Flower (Clematis sp.)

Littlefield and Burns list the local leather flowers as Clematis bigelovii, Bigelow's leather flower. The SEINET species list for Bernalillo County includes only C. hirsutissima, hairy clematis, but the SEINET web page for C. bigelovii shows it as occurring in the Sandias.  I think I'll leave my IDs at the genus level.

 

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.