Engelmann fir, corkbark fir, and Siberian juniper grow in the Hud-
sonian zone, which lies around tiraberline. Currants and sedges of
several species are found in this zone.

The flora of the Alpine zone, the smallest of all, is characterized by
dwarf alpine flowers, mountain forget-me-nots, saxifrages, sedges, rushes,
dwarf closed gentian, and alpine larkspur. No trees grow here, as the
area is confined to the mountain peaks above timberline.

Plants enter largely into native Indian ceremonial rites, many species
having definite uses, medicinal virtues, and healing qualities. The jim-
sonweed (Datura stramonium) is used to induce hallucinations, de-
lirium, and convulsions, in which state the subject is supposed to be
benefited by intercourse with the powers of the unseen world. The
amole (yucca) root figures in many cleansing rites, and the wild herbs
used by the Indians and Spanish-Americans would make a large cata-
logue. Mormon tea, chimajá (wild celery)—the latter a plant
whose leaves and root both cooked and raw are edible—yerbas buenas
(mints), oshá (mountain celery) and yerba de mansa (lizard's tail) are
among those still gathered in New Mexico mountains as valuable foods
and remedies.


The first survey of New Mexico animals and birds was made in
1540 by Castañeda, the chronicler of the Coronado expedition. In mak-
ing his reports, as required by the Spanish government, Castañeda men-
tioned chiefly the animals whose skins were found in the pueblos along
the line of march, and he noted especially the buffalo, or "cows covered
with frizzled hair which resembles wool." The few birds mentioned
are of special interest, since they were the first recorded in what is
now the United States. The Spanish chronicler noted that "a very
large number of cranes and wild geese and starlings (purple grackles)
live on what is sown. There are a great many native fowl in these
provinces, and cocks (wild turkeys) with great hanging chins." Long
robes and dresses made of the "feathers of the fowls" were seen, and
"tame eagles which the chiefs estimate to be something fine."

Many expeditions, private and governmental, have augmented this
first fragmentary report. William Gambel visited the State in 1841,
mainly for the study of birds, and four years later James William Abert
did considerable collecting. Dr. A. Wislizenus conducted a study of
the flora in 1846, and subsequent students have furnished a wealth of
information on the flora and fauna of New Mexico. A systematic
survey of the State's bird life was undertaken in 1903 by Dr. C. Hart
Merriam and Mr. Vernon Bailey, and continued after 1913 by the
Biological Survey of the United States Department of Agriculture.
Field work was carried on in every important valley and mountain