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Agastache wrightii (Greenm.) Woot. & Standl.

Family: Lamiaceae

Description: This Agastache differs from all other Agastache in the region, except for A. micrantha, by its small flowers. The calyx tube is less than 3 mm long. It has thicker leaves than A. micrantha, the leaves usually not wrinkling upon drying, the leaves mostly 1.5-2.0 (rather than 2.5-3.0) times longer than wide. Agastache micrantha is primarily of the Chihuahuan Desert region; A. wrightii occurs where the Sonoran influence is stronger.

Distribution: Central Arizona to southwestern New Mexico, northeastern Sonora and extreme west-central Chihuahua (Sanders 1987).

Plants Seen or Cited: New Mexico; Grant Co.; Mule Mts., 4 mi W and 2.5 mi S of town of Mule Creek, 11 Sep 1977, Harris s.n. (UTEP); Mangas Springs, 18 mi NW of Silver City, 5 Sep 1903, Metcalfe 655 (ARIZ, CAS, GH, NMC, US); Hidalgo Co., Animas Mts., Lower Indian Creek Canyon, 4 Oct 1975, Wagner 1772 (UNM). Sanders (1987) also cites one of his collections from the Animas Mts. (TEX); this and the Metcalfe collection cited above are the only records from New Mexico that he cites or maps. UNM and UTEP also each have a specimen from south-central Arizona.

Habitat: Canyons, hills and montane slopes, 4,500-6,500 ft (Martin and Hutchins 1981); upper Sonoran zone (Wooton and Standley 1915); rich soil, canyons and slopes, 4,000-6,000 ft (Kearney and Peebles 1969); igneous rock outcrops in protected gravelly creek banks in shallow stream courses and canyons, usually with sclerophyllous oaks and grasses or scatter ponderosa pines, 1100-2000 m (Sanders 1987).

Discussion: Wooton and Standley (1915) record the species from the Mogollon Mts. and the Organ Mts. Sanders does not record the species as far east as the Organ Mts., instead noting that a close congener, A. micrantha, occurs there. No authors cited herein indicate rarity of the species; Sanders (1987) hints at its more or less specialized nature by stating that it occurs in "isolated mountains and savannahs." Agastache wrightii has a reasonably wide range, occurring from central Arizona to west-central Chihuahua and northeastern Sonora. It apparently is rarely collected in New Mexico, where it is peripheral.

Important Literature:

Kearney, T.H. and R.H. Peebles. 1969. Arizona Flora, 2nd ed. (with supplement by J.T. Howell, Elizabeth McClintock, et al.). Univ. California Press, Berkeley. 1085 pp.

Martin, W.C. and C.R. Hutchins. 1981. A Flora of New Mexico, vol. 2. J. Cramer, Vaduz. Pp. 1277-2591.

Sanders, R.W. 1987. Taxonomy of Agastache section Brittonastrum (Lamiaceae-Nepeteae). Systematic Botany Monographs 15:1-92.

Wooton, E.O. and P.C. Standley. 1915. Flora of New Mexico. Contr. U.S. Natl. Herbarium 19: 1-794.

Information Compiled By: Richard Spellenberg, 1998

Photo credits in header Peniocereus greggii var. greggii © T. Todsen,
Lepidospartum burgessii © M. Howard, Argemone pleiacantha ssp. pinnatisecta © R. Sivinski
Design: J. Mygatt; Copyright © 1999-2005 New Mexico Rare Plant Technical Council