Aldama cordifolia

Rough Goldeneye - Aldama cordifolia
East fork of Ready Pay Gulch, North of NM-152
East of Hillsboro, New Mexico 

Composites!  There are a lot of reasons that I am ambivalent about composites.  Sure they are often pretty, showy, even extravagant - but they are so difficult to identify.  We found this Rough Goldeneye (a.k.a. Heartleaf Goldeneye), Aldama cordifolia, near an adit in the east wash of Ready Pay Gulch, north of NM-152, east of Hillsboro, New Mexico.  The haphazard flower of this species helps with the identification, but the leaves are quite distinctive - covered with little glands which make the plant feel rough and sticky.  An impression which is augmented by its stiff upright habit and almost woody stem structure.

This species was originally described as Viguiera cordifolia by Asa Gray.  In 2011, Schilling and Panero, published a major revision of this subtribe of plants based on DNA analysis, resulting in the scientific name change for the subject species.

The specimen below was collected as part of the Mexican Boundary Survey, the insert at the bottom left reads “collected under the direction of Major W. H. Emory, Commissioner.  Chiefly in the Valley of the Rio Grande, below Doñana -- by C. C. Parry, M.D., J. M. Bigelow, M. D., Mr. Charles Wright, and Mr. A. Schott.”  If you are looking for the history of the American Southwest, and in particular its “botanical history” there are a lot of “big” names in that phrase.

In October 2014, the Native Plant Society of New Mexico (Las Cruces Chapter) conducted a field trip to Ready Pay Gulch and the Percha Box.  Their plant list for this trip, which includes the subject species is found here. 


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