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   Packera species were originally placed in the Senecio genus.  The Flora of North America and The Synthesis accept William Weber's 1981 genus name, Packera, but Intermountain Flora and A Utah Flora still accept Senecio as the name of this genus.

   J. L. Turner re-examined several Packera species and concluded that what had been termed P. neomexicana in Colorado was actually P. thurberi. However, as of 2017, I can find no key to Packera that clearly separates these species and no consensus that Turner is correct. Kartesz has removed P. neomexicana from Colorado and has replace it with P. thurberi, but his distribution map of the latter does not correspond to Turner's map. Further, after Turner's work, both Weber and Ackerfield published new editions of their floras of Colorado and neither mentions P. thurberi.  

   John Packer is a Canadian botanist.  (More biographical information about Packer.)

   See more Packera.

Packera neomexicana
 
Packera neomexicana var. mutabilisSynonym: Senecio neomexicanus. (New Mexico Groundsel)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Foothills, montane, subalpine. Woodlands, openings. Summer.
Horse Gulch Trail, June 7, 2004.

Many members of the Packera genus are common in the San Juans and nearby mountain ranges, but exact species identification is often difficult because Packera species hybridize. The very common Packera neomexicana is especially variable and it can be difficult to identify. 

P. neomexicana is a very common plant of the mountains in our area. It enjoys dry hillsides and meadows and can produce an abundance of flowers on each plant and an abundance of plants in a small area. The elongated stem with few small leaves is characteristic.

Charles Wright collected the first specimens of this plant for science in New Mexico and the plant was first named Senecio neomexicanus by Asa Gray in 1884. William Weber renamed it Packera neomexicana in 1981. Click to see the note about Packeras and Senecios.

Packera neomexicana
Packera neomexicana var. mutabilisSynonym: Senecio neomexicanus. (New Mexico Groundsel)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Foothills, montane, subalpine. Woodlands, openings. Summer.
West Mancos Trail, June 1, 2000.

Varying growing conditions and varying genetics produce a variety of leaf shapes and lushness of growth, but the leaves pictured at left are fairly typical of this variety of Packera neomexicana.

Packera neomexicana
Packera neomexicana var. mutabilisSynonym: Senecio neomexicanus. (New Mexico Groundsel)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Foothills, montane, subalpine. Woodlands, openings. Summer.
Narraguinnep Natural Area, May 28, 2004.

Packera neomexicana
Packera neomexicana var. mutabilisSynonym: Senecio neomexicanus. (New Mexico Groundsel)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Foothills, montane, subalpine. Woodlands, openings. Summer.
Mesa Verde National Park, Prater Ridge Trail, June 3, 2004.

Going and gone to seed.  The white puffs are the pappus hairs which sit at the top of the seeds and carry them on the wind.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Packera neomexicana