WILDFLOWERS OF NEW MEXICO

 
 

With 1 1/2–4-foot tall, branching, often purplish stems, the plant is prickly throughout with large, showy white flowers and numerous yellow stamens. Note the yellow sap.


FLOWERS: Spring–fall. White, 3–5 inches (8–12 cm) diameter, 6 tissue-like petals; 150+ orange-yellow stamens clustered in center. Buds prickly and spherical to oval; seed capsules oval to elliptic, 1–1 3/4-inches (25–45 mm) long, with protruding, evenly narrow horns with prickles; capsule sparsely to densely prickly, prickles 3/16–3/8-inch (4–10 mm) long.


LEAVES: Alternate, Blades gray-green, to 8 inches (20 cm) long, lobed about 3/4 to the mid-rib, lobes pointed and tipped with thorny prickles, surfaces smooth or only with minute prickles, veins prickly, especially on bottom surface.


HABITAT: Sandy, gravelly, clay-loam soils, roadsides, washes, foothills; desert grasslands and scrub, pinion-juniper, pine-oak woodlands.


ELEVATION: 4,000–8,500 feet.


RANGE: AZ, NM; Mexico.


SIMILAR SPECIES: 4 widespread species in NM. The look-alike Crested Pricklypoppy, A. polyanthemos (A. albiflora), has white flowers (rarely red or lavender on Otero Mesa), gradually narrowing sepal horns without prickles, and yellow sap; Rough Pricklypoppy, A. hispida, has prickly leaf surfaces and densely prickly stems and seed capsules; Hedgehog Pricklypoppy, A. squarrosa, has deeply lobed, bluish leaves densely prickly to smooth between veins, capsules with the longest prickles, 3/8–5/8-inch (8–15 mm), and yellow sap.


NM COUNTIES: Southern half of NM in low- to mid-elevation, dry habitats: Bernalillo, Catron, Chaves, Grant, Hidalgo, Lea, Lincoln, Luna, Otero, Sierra, Socorro.

SOUTHWESTERN  PRICKLYPOPPY

ARGEMONE  PLEIACANTHA

Poppy Family, Papaveraceae

Perennial herb

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Pods have narrow, prickly horns of similar length.

Leaves with smooth surfaces, prickles on veins, especially on bottom side.

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