New Mexico Wildflowers: Rose Family



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


Mountain Mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus)

The seed plumes on mountain mahogany and Apache plume may tempt you to confuse the two plants, but a close look will show many differences.

  • The leaves of the Apache plume are highly dissected (think "branching"). The leaves of the mountain mahogany are more conventional in shape (they tend to be broadest near the ends, and to have slight sawtooth edges at the ends).
  • Apache plume flowers are showy. Mountain mahogany flowers are tiny and easy to overlook.
  • The spines of Apache plume seed plumes are delicate, have a pink tinge, and occur in multiples. Mountain mahogany seed plumes have sturdier brown spines, often have a corkscrew shape, grow singly (but can be bunched on a branch), and can still be found attached to the plant the following winter.


Hawthorne (Crataegus)


Apache Plume (Fallugia paradoxa)

The Apache Plume's white flowers are often upstaged by the clusters of pink-tinged seed plumes, which must have reminded someone of Plains-style feather bonnets. While it lasts, the white flower is five-petaled and showy. The leaves are highly dissected. A few seed plumes often linger, making it easier to identify this shrub.


Wild Strawberry (Fragraria vesca)


Mountain Spray (Holodiscus dumosus)

The flowers on this bush are so small, it's difficult to get a picture where the individual flowers show up. The flowers occur in clusters at the ends of branches.


Crab Apple (Malus pumila)

Because apples and crab apples have escaped into the wild in New Mexico, they qualify for this page. The photos you see here were taken in the Rio Grande Bosque, not in someone's yard, and represent one such escapee. A few dried fruits from the previous season confirmed that the tree was a crab apple.


Silverweed Cinquefoil (Potentilla anserina)

Compare the more ladder-like arrangement of the leaf segments with the palm-like arrangement of Beautiful Cinquefoil, below. If you flip over a leaf you'll understand the "silverleaf" part of the name.


Beautiful Cinquefoil (Potentilla pulcherrima)

Even if you don't see this in flower, the five-part leaves are distinctive.


Bitter Cherry (Prunus emarginata)

When a friend and I were walking in the bosque in April, we came across a burst of white flowers on an otherwise small and miserable-looking set of twigs. Since there were no leaves to look at, the ID is tentative.


Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana)

The first time I walked towards this bush, I thought it might be a red elderberry. However, the many stamens on the flowers ruled out that possibility. I found the berries to be edible but astringent.


Wood's Rose (Rosa woodsii)


Raspberry (Rubus idaeus)