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Hymenoxys vaseyi
(Vasey's bitterweed)

[taxon report][distribution map][all photos][line drawing]



Family: Asteraceae

Scientific Name: Hymenoxys vaseyi (A. Gray) Cockerell

Synonyms: Actinella vaseyi A. Gray; Picradenia vaseyi (A. Gray) Greene

Vernacular Name: Vasey's bitterweed

R-E-D Code: 2-1-3

Description: Perennial herb; stems one or a few from a branching base, 2-5 dm tall, glabrous or sparsely pubescent in the inflorescence; leaves once or twice parted into narrowly linear lobes; inflorescence corymbose (flat-topped); involucre of flower heads 8-10 mm tall, outer phyllaries united for 1/2 to 2/3 their length, inner phyllaries ciliate-margined and blunt to acute at the apex; flowers yellow, ray corollas usually as long as or longer than the length of the involucre; achenes appressed-hairy, pappus scales blunt or acute at the apex. Flowers August to October.

Similar Species: Hymenoxys richardsonii has pappus scales that taper to a fine point (acuminate) at the apex. Hymenoxys brachyactis is biennial with only one stem, has ray corollas shorter than the involucre, outer phyllaries united for 1/3 to 1/2 their length, and acute to acuminate pappus scales.


Distribution: New Mexico, eastern Doņa Ana and eastern Sierra counties, Organ and San Andres mountains.

Habitat: Dry sites with coarse soils in montane scrub and piņon-juniper woodland; 2,100-2,500 m (6,900-8,200 ft).

Remarks: This is a variable and infrequently collected species in need of additional study.

Conservation Considerations: Very little is known of its abundance and habitat requirements. It needs additional field studies.

Important Literature (*Illustration):

Cockerell, T. 1904. The North American species of Hymenoxys. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 31:461-509.

*New Mexico Native Plants Protection Advisory Committee. 1984. A handbook of rare and endemic plants of New Mexico. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.

Information Compiled By: Robert Sivinski, 1999

Agency Status:
Taxon USFWS State of NM USFS BLM Navajo Nation Natural Heritage NM Global Rank
Hymenoxys vaseyiSoCSoC...S2?G2?


Photo credits in header Peniocereus greggii var. greggii © T. Todsen,
Lepidospartum burgessii © M. Howard, Argemone pleiacantha ssp. pinnatisecta © R. Sivinski
©2005 New Mexico Rare Plant Technical Council