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Part Of The American Meadows Meadowscaping Learning Center

New Mexico Native Plants, State Flowers & State Bird

Native plants are adaptable, low-maintenance, and beautiful. They are the best choice for habitat-friendly gardens and thriving ecosystems. Find top picks for native plants in your state - and learn about your state bird and state flowers! 

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Why You Need Native Plants  |  Native Plants By State

Wild Strawberry (Fragaria virginiana)

Hello native plant enthusiasts! In the list below, you will find popular native plants and wildflower seeds, available from American Meadows, that have a native distribution in your state. You’ll also find information about your state bird, state flower, and state wildflower!

About Our Native Plant Lists For Each State

  • The links will take you to a single plant or seed selection for the plant listed -- but in many cases, we offer multiple cultivars for each plant, and we may offer both seeds and potted plants to grow the plant on your list. This list is a work in progress as we expand our native plant educational resources. 
  • The list for your state is a great place for getting started with native plants - but it is by no means a comprehensive listing of the hundreds of native plants growing in each state. 

New Mexico State Bird, State Flower & State Wildflower

New Mexico  State Flower and Bird

Roadrunner ~ Geococcyx californianus
The rattlesnake strikes repeatedly, but the Roadrunner dodges. The snake tires, and the big bird dances in, stabs at the reptile’s head with its long beak, thrashes it on a rock and begins to feed on it. So goes mealtime for the Roadrunner to whom the desert is home, and almost anything that moves is food. New Mexicans say the X-like tracks of this strange bird confuse the Devil, who can’t tell which way the bird has fled. For a short stretch a Roadrunner can sprint twenty miles an hour. Early travelers along the Santa Fe Trail first noticed the “chaparral cock” in the wagon ruts, and nicknamed it the Roadrunner.

Yucca Flower ~ Yucca elata
Of the seven varieties of Yucca that grow in abundance in New Mexico, the stately Yucca elata is one of the most elegant. In the early summer, pale ivory flowers bloom at the tips of its long fibrous stalks. At the base of the plant are broad, sharp-edged leaves that look like stilettos. Its roots were ground into an excellent substitute for soap called amole by the Indian and pioneer women. The Yucca has a remarkable method of pollination. Moths, attracted to the Yucca’s perfume, fly from plant to plant transferring pollen.

From The Wildflowers of the 50 States U.S. stamps issued July 24, 1992:

New Mexico State Flower and Bird
New Mexico Wildflower - Claret Cup Cactus. Art from the 50-stamp series, State Birds and Flowers, issued April 14, 1982 simultaneously in all state capitals.

About Native Plants

  • Native plants are essential for healthy ecosystems and habitat. They have evolved over time with local wildlife and climate conditions. Many pollinators have special relationships with native plants that they rely on for survival. For instance, some bees are specialists and require nectar and pollen from specific native plants to survive; and butterflies and moths often have specific host plants needed to nourish their caterpillars. For example, Asclepias (Milkweed or Butterfly Weed) is the host plant required for Monarch caterpillars to survive and grow into Monarch Butterflies!
  • It’s OK to grow native plants in your yard that may not be native to your state or region. Remember – just because a plant is not native, does not necessarily mean that it is invasive or harmful. In fact, growing well-behaved introduced plants that are suited to your growing conditions can still provide many benefits to your yard (especially when compared to a traditional turf lawn).  
  • Know before you grow – It's always a good idea to learn what plants are native, well-behaved, and invasive or aggressive in your region before digging in.
  • Learn More: All About Native Plants

Explore our full selection of native plants and seeds

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