Did you find an ORANGE wildflower in New Mexico?

Types of orange wildflowers in New Mexico

 

If so, I’m sure you’re wondering what type of wildflower you found! Luckily, you can use this guide to help you identify it. 🙂

 

Please be aware that today I’m ONLY listing and focusing on the most common orange wildflowers. There are so many species, varieties, and subspecies that it would be impossible to name them all. But if you want to dive even deeper into the many orange wildflowers in New Mexico, check out this field guide!

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Today, we will look at 8 ORANGE wildflowers you can find in New Mexico.

 


#1. Butterfly Weed

  • Asclepias tuberosa

Also known as: Orange Milkweed, Butterfly Milkweed, Chieger Flower, and Chiggerflower

Orange wildflowers in New Mexico

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-9
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 18-36 in (46-91 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Summer
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun or Partial Shade

 

You will find Butterfly Weed in many home gardens. Look for a flat-topped, bright orange cluster of flowers. Butterflies and hummingbirds are particularly attracted to the Butterfly Weed because of its abundant nectar production.

 

Traditionally, Native Americans have chewed Butterfly Weed root to cure pleurisy, bronchitis, and other pulmonary ailments. When boiled into tea, this orange wildflower can effectively treat stomach issues. In fact, its genus name Asclepias is a reference to Asklepios – the Greek god of medicine.

 

If you’re planning to ingest this plant, please note that its root and sap are toxic to humans in large quantities. Proceed with caution!

 


#2. Wood Lily

  • Lilium philadelphicum

Also known as: Red Lily, Prairie Lily, Western Red Lily, Northern Red Lily, and Philadelphia Lily

New Mexico orange wildflowers

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-8
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 12-36 in (30-91 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Mid Summer to Late Summer
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun or Partial Shade

 

The Wood Lily has upward-facing petals to catch the attention of passing hummingbirds and butterflies. This helps aid in cross-pollination, which is essential for its reproduction. Its striking red-orange flowers with purplish freckles catch the attention of gardeners as well!

 

Each flower of the Wood Lily remains open for 8-11 days. Unlike many orange wildflowers in New Mexico, the petals don’t immediately close or wither after they’re pollinated.

 

You can eat the bulbs of the Wood Lily! Their flavor is similar to turnips. Unfortunately, Wood Lilies are often picked from their natural habitat by visitors, so this species is not as common as it used to be.

 


#3. Blanket Flower

  • Gaillardia pulchella

Also known as: Indian Blanketflower, Beach Blanket-flower, Indian Blanket Flower, Firewheel, Sundance, Girasol Rojo, and Gaillardia

Types of orange wildflowers in New Mexico

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 2-11
  • Life Cycle: Annual
  • Approximate Mature Size: 12-24 in (30-61cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Summer to Early Fall; Year-round in some areas
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun or Light Shade

 

Blanket Flower is a type of sunflower with an impressive display of red, orange, and yellow petals. Don’t be surprised if you spot many bees and birds where these flowers grow!

 

Many beekeepers use Blanket Flower in the production of honey. The honey made from this orange wildflower in New Mexico is mild, buttery, and amber-colored.

 

Goldfinches enjoy the seeds of Blanket Flower, so don’t forget to leave some seedheads after the flowering season!

 


#4. Berlandier Flax

  • Linum berlandieri (formerly known as Linum rigidum Pursh berlandieri)

Also known as: Stiff-stem Flax and Yellow Flax

Orange wildflowers in New Mexico

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 6-10
  • Life Cycle: Annual
  • Approximate Mature Size: 2-16 in (5-41 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Early Spring to Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun

 

The yellow-orange Berlandier Flax flower blooms for only one or two days before wilting. Although short-lived, the blossoms are beautiful. The leaves are long and tapered with a grayish-green color.

 

This orange wildflower is native to New Mexico. It grows in a variety of habitats.

 


#5. Texas Lantana

  • Lantana urticoides (synonymous with Lantana horrida)

Also known as: Calico Bush, Wild Lantana, West Indian Lantana, and West Indian Shrub Verbena

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 8-10
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 36-72 in (91-183 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Spring to Early Winter
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun or Light Shade

 

Texas Lantana is an important flower for wildlife. Many insects feed on the nectar and plant parts of this wildflower. Specifically, the Lantana Scrub Hairstreak caterpillar primarily relies on Texas Lantana leaves as a food source.

 

The green and purple berries of the Texas Lantana are poisonous to humans and livestock. If you have pets or small children, this may not be the best plant for your garden.

 

But the good news is that hummingbirds can eat the fruit! So you may notice more hummingbirds in your area when this orange wildflower is in full bloom.

 


#6. Tropical Milkweed

  • Asclepias curassavica

Also known as: Scarlet Milkweed, Bloodflower, Cotton Bush, Sunset Flower, Swallow Wort, Silkweed, Indian Root, Curassavian, Cancerillo (Spanish); Bloodflower, and Mexican Milkweed

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 8b-11
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 24-48 in (61-122 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Late Spring to Early Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun or Partial Shade

 

Tropical milkweed’s distinctive blossom has five orangish-red petals that bed backward, with a yellow star-shaped crown. Although it isn’t a native orange wildflower, it has become invasive across much of the country.

 

Unfortunately, Tropical Milkweed planted in New Mexico may do more harm than good.

 

It carries a parasite that affects Monarch Butterflies called Ophryocystis elektroscirrha, or OE, which can cause defects in the wings of Monarchs. Since it doesn’t die back and can bloom late, the plant may also confuse Monarchs by signaling a breeding season when it’s time to migrate.

 

You can help reduce the spread of OE by cutting back Tropical Milkweed plants at the end of summer. Cut them all the way to the ground and dispose of the cuttings to get rid of the parasite.

 

To ensure you’re planting milkweed that will help your local ecosystem and attract native pollinators, always choose a native species!

 


#7. Orange Agoseris

  • Agoseris aurantiaca

Also known as: Orange-flowered False-dandelion and Mountain Dandelion

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: Unknown
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 12-36 in (30-91 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Late Summer to Early Fall
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun

 

The Orange Agoseris belongs to the Sunflower family, which includes asters, daisies, and sunflowers. Its coppery-orange flower heads can be used to make Dandelion beer or wine. You can even eat the leaves!

 

Once this orange wildflower in New Mexico has gone to seed, the flower head turns into a white, puffy ball. The wind carries each seed to create new plants.

 


#8. Wholeleaf Paintbrush

  • Castilleja integra

Also known as: Wholeleaf Indian Paintbrush, and Squawfeather

Growing Information

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-7
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Size: 6-16 in (15-41 cm) tall
  • Bloom Time: Spring to Summer
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun

 

Wholeleaf Paintbrush grows in mountain oak and pine forests between 3,000 and 7,500 ft (914-2,286m) above sea level.

 

The vivid red-orange color that you will see on the Wholeleaf Paintbrush is not its flower, but a part of the leaves called bracts. The actual flower is a small green tube protruding from the center.

 

To identify this orange wildflower in New Mexico, look at its stems and leaves. Small white hairs cover the entire plant except for the blossoms.

 


Which of these orange wildflowers have you seen before in New Mexico?

 

Leave a comment below!