Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Rocky Mountain beeweed

with 20 comments

As if to corroborate the common name Rocky mountain beeweed, I found a native bee on these flowers of Cleome serrulata at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument in northern New Mexico on June 12th. An online article about this species notes that other vernacular names for the plant are stinking-clover, bee spider-flower, skunk weed, Navajo spinach, and guaco. This wildflower is a relative of the clammyweed that grows in Austin.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 20, 2017 at 4:50 AM

20 Responses

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  1. Lovely! 👍


    August 20, 2017 at 4:58 AM

  2. It’s always a joy when the namesake is present. And more eye-pleasing than a skunk being on it. Lovely photo, Steve.

    Jet Eliot

    August 20, 2017 at 7:56 AM

    • I’m with you in preferring a bee near me rather than a skunk. I don’t know about eye-pleasing, but the bee is definitely more nose-pleasing.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 20, 2017 at 8:21 AM

  3. I love a flower that just keeps coming, as this looks like it is going to do. Lovely.


    August 20, 2017 at 8:08 AM

    • I like the way you put it: a flower that just keeps coming.

      I see that this species has been attested in Cook County, Illinois. Perhaps it’s coming to a field near you.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 20, 2017 at 8:48 AM

      • Oh I hope so. The purists around here get all bent out of shape about new species but I think, with the planet warming, we should welcome any species that can thrive in new conditions.


        August 21, 2017 at 8:55 AM

        • Even without human intervention, native species have often expanded their range. Every genetic mutation must have started with a single plant, which occupies the smallest possible native range.

          Steve Schwartzman

          August 21, 2017 at 9:04 AM

  4. The green anthers and purple filaments just knock me out. That is one beautiful flower. It reminds me of blue curls, probably because of the long stamens. I remembered reading about a bird called a guaco, and found this interesting long paragraph about both the bird and various vine-like plants of Central and South America. It’s interesting that Humboldt is mentioned, too.


    August 20, 2017 at 8:18 AM

  5. I grow cleome here .. not sure if it is the same variety, the green shield beetles love it!


    August 22, 2017 at 2:19 PM

    • I just looked and found there are about 50 species in the genus Cleome, so the one you grow there is unlikely to be this one. I don’t know whether New Mexico has green shield beetles, and if so, whether they love Cleome.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 22, 2017 at 4:16 PM

  6. Wonderful pic Steve …


    August 22, 2017 at 2:20 PM

  7. Beautiful flower and cue the bee!!


    August 24, 2017 at 7:18 AM

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