An Illustrated Guide to ARIZONA WEEDS

The University of Arizona Press



POPPY FAMILY-Papaveraceae

BLUESTEM PRICKLEPOPPY-Argemone intermedia Sweet

DESCRIPTION-Prickly perennials with bitter yellow juice, and densely covered throughout with short yellowish spines, which reproduce only by seeds. The large white or occasionally pinkish flowers, 2 to 3 inches across, are fragrant with 4 to 6 petals and many orange colored stamens. The leaves are alternate, bluish green, deeply lobed, clasp the stem at the base, and are 2 to 8 inches long.

There are 2 or 3 green sepals covering the flower bud. Each bears a long slender horn which ends in I stiff spine, and usually with no additional spines, but sometimes 1 to 3 very slender ones near the base. The prickly oblong seedpods are 1 to 1 1/2 inches long, and produce many dark brown or blackish seeds. The rounded seeds are about 1/6 to 1/12 inch in diameter, the surface finely honeycombed, with a raised scar down one side.

DISTRIBUTION-A native plant growing in dry disturbed soil of roadsides, old fields, waste places, washes, mesas, and uncultivated areas. These are very drought resistant plants. They come in abundance on overgrazed ranges, and are an indication of severe deterioration. Found in Yavapai, Maricopa, Pinal, Cochise, Santa Cruz, and Pima counties; ],500 to 5,400 feet elevation; flowering March to November. Pricklepoppies contain alkaloids that may cause livestock poisoning, but they are rarely eaten.

CRESTED PRICKLEPOPPY-Argemone platyceras Link & Otto

DESCRIPTION-Usually more densely spiny throughout than bluestem prickle-poppy, with many fine short bristles. The 2 or 3 horns on the flower buds are shorter and stouter, with several short spines.

DISTRIBUTION-Growing in the same situations as bluestem pricklepoppy, in Apache to Mohave County, south to Pima, Santa Cruz, and Cochise counties; 1,500 to 8,000 feet elevation; flowering March to November.

Copyright (c) 1972 The Arizona Board of Regents

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