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Cynanchum arizonicum (Gray) Shinners

Synonyms: Metastelma arizonicum Gray; Metastelma watsonianum Standley

Family: Asclepiadaceae

Distribution: Arizona, Maricopa, Pima, and Pinal counties; Mexico, Sonora (Sundell 1993). Southern Arizona in Pinal, Maricopa, and Pima counties (Shreve & Wiggins 1964).

Plants Seen or Cited: One specimen in NM Natural Heritage Program Database: Hidalgo Co., extreme southeast (sic, should be southwest) corner of county near Guadalupe Canyon on steep, southwest-facing slope, 15 August 1979.

Habitat: Among shrubs on rocky hillsides, Lower Sonoran Zone (Shreve & Wiggins 1964); rocky slopes and canyons of desert mountain ranges; 1,500-4,500 ft. (Sundell 1993).

Discussion: This plant is not listed in Wooton & Standley (1915), Kearney & Peebles (1960), Shreve & Wiggins (1964), Martin & Hutchins (1980), or Sundell (1981, 1993) as being present in New Mexico if it is treated at all. It seems to be primarily a Sonoran Desert species. Sundell (1993) says nothing about its rarity. Since it does not seem to be rare in its range in Arizona and Sonora, I suggest that it not be given special consideration in New Mexico.

Important Literature:

Kearney, T.H. and R.H. Peebles. 1960. Arizona Flora, second edition with supplement. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA. (page 663)

Martin, W.C. and C.R. Hutchins. 1980. A flora of New Mexico. J. Cramer, Germany.

Shreve, F. and I.L. Wiggins. 1964. Vegetation and flora of the Sonoran Desert. Two volumes. Stanford University Press. (page 1121-1122)

Sundell, E. 1981. The New World species of Cynanchum L. subgenus Mellichampia (A. Gray ex S. Wats.) Woods. (Asclepiadaceae). Evolutionary Monographs 5:1-63.

Sundell, E. 1993. Asclepiadaceae. Journal of the Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science 27(2):182.

Wooton, E.O. and P.S. Standley. 1915. Flora of New Mexico. Contributions from the United States National Herbarium, Smithsonian Institution, Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.

Information Compiled By: David L. Bleakly, 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