New Mexico Wildflowers: Olive Family



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Stretchberry, Desert Olive (Forestiera pubescens)

These berries do look like olives, only blue-black and much smaller. You're more likely to see them than the yellowish flowers. The berries are supposed to be edible but very bitter; I haven't built up the courage to try them. Any plants you see labeled as New Mexico privet, Forestiera neomexicana, are part of this species.


Velvet Ash (Fraxinus velutina)

Also known as Arizona ash, and in Spanish as fresno. The leaves often have five pointed leaflets. The samaras (seeds) are paddle-shaped. In New Mexico this species of ash is more common in the southern part of the state.