New Mexico Wildflowers: Phlox Family

(Polemoniaceae)

 

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


Miniature Woollystar (Eriastrum diffusum)

Look for small, tubular, five-petaled flowers (white to blue) in clusters whose bases are woolly and have emerging green points (bracts). All on reddish stems.

 

Eyed Gilia (Gilia ophthalmoides)

These flowers are tiny—note the size compared to my thumb and forefinger. While they're often described as purple, the ones I found where white.

 

Skyrocket (Ipomopsis aggregata)

Skyrocket, Rocket, Ipomopsis aggregata, New Mexico
Skyrockets, Valles Caldera National Preserve, August 2015

 

 

It's easy to imagine how Skyrockets (or just Rockets) got their name: they look like bursts of aerial fireworks. If you look straight into the flower, it looks like a five-pointed star. As with Scarlet Buglers, the flowers hang from wand-like stems, with most of the foliage down below.

 

Trumpet Gilia (Ipomopsis longiflora)

The giveaway for the Trumpet Gilia is the flower's amazingly long tube. Back up your ID by counting the five "petals" (lobes). The flowers are an extremely pale lavender. 

 

Many-Flowered Gilia (Ipomopsis multiflora)

In the late summer of 2020, these were common on shady slopes in the Juan Tabo Canyon area.

 

Santa Fe Phlox (Phlox nana)

 

Jacob's Ladder (Polemonium foliosissimum)

I use the spacing of the narrow leaf lobes—regularly spaced like rungs—as a reminder that this plant's name is Jacob's Ladder.