New Mexico Wildflowers: Dogbane Family



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

Dogbane (Apocynum)

Dogbane flowers are pink or white, depending on the species, but you won't see them most of the growing season. Instead, look for the maroon twigs and the long, pointed, smooth-edged leaves. You may see Dogbane Leaf Beetles munching away on those leaves; you can see the beetles on this page. By the fall the fruits appear in pairs, each a long-skinny seed capsule. Before New Mexico's Native Americans had cotton, they used fibers from dogbane stems for weaving.


Broadleaf Milkweed (Asclepias latifolia)

In New Mexico's high desert, Broadleaf Milkweed plants stick out like a sore thumb. Unfortunately, my images are from a point in the summer when the flowers were in poor shape—including from insect ravages. You can still make out the "skirts" on the individual milkweed flowers.


Horsetail Milkweed, Yerba lechosa (Asclepias subverticillata)

This is a very common Albuquerque "weed." Look for skinny, upward-pointing leaves and clusters of small white flowers. Each of the flowers has a "skirt." In two photos the leaves are curled downward, but that's because the plant was wilting. Also, my photo of the fruit includes Oleander Aphids. You can see more of them on a separate page.