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Desert Bearpoppy (Arctomecon merriamii)
Perennial Forbs Around Las Vegas, Vegetation Around Las Vegas
 
Desert Bearpoppy (Arctomecon merriamii)

General: Desert Bearpoppy (Arctomecon merriamii), also called White Bearpoppy, is a perennial forb that tends to grow in limestone soils. The silvery-gray, hairy leaves grow in a clump on the ground. The large, white-poppy flowers grow atop long stems.

Desert Bearpoppy is a rare component of desert vegetation communities along washes and on bajadas in the Upper Sonoran (Mojave Desert Scrub) life zone.

Because it is rare, Desert Bearpoppy is considered to be a sensitive species.

Desert Bearpoppy (Arctomecon merriamii)
Desert Bearpoppy with flowers.

Family: Poppy (Papaveraceae).

Other Names: White bearpoppy, white bear poppy, white bear-poppy, desert bear-poppy

Plant Form: Low-growing herb with upright flower stalks.

Height: Leaves to a few inches; flower stalks to about 18 inches.

Stems: None per se; flower stalks naked.

Leaves: Basal, generally wedge-shaped with rounded teeth at the end; hairy (hairs to 1/2 inch). Blades to 3 inches.

Flowers: Blooms late spring to early summer. Inflorescence: flowers solitary atop naked stalk. Petals large (to almost 2 inches), white.

Seeds: Fruits: 1 to 1-1/2 inch long capsule, oblong (typical poppy pod). Seeds tiny.

Desert Bearpoppy (Arctomecon merriamii) flower
Desert Bearpoppy flower

Habitat: Dry, well-drained gravelly and rocky soils on upper bajadas and moderate slopes in the lower mountains.

Elevation: 3,000 to 4,500 ft.

Distribution: California and southern Nevada

Comments:

Desert Bearpoppy (Arctomecon merriamii) leaf Desert Bearpoppy leaf: elongate with lobed end and long hairs.
Desert Bearpoppy (Arctomecon merriamii) Desert Bearpoppy (Arctomecon merriamii)
Desert Bearpoppy (Arctomecon merriamii) Desert Bearpoppy (Arctomecon merriamii)
Desert Bearpoppy (Arctomecon merriamii) Desert Bearpoppy (Arctomecon merriamii)
Desert Bearpoppy (Arctomecon merriamii) Desert Bearpoppy (Arctomecon merriamii)
Desert Bearpoppy (Arctomecon merriamii) Desert Bearpoppy (Arctomecon merriamii)
Desert Bearpoppy (Arctomecon merriamii) Desert Bearpoppy (Arctomecon merriamii)
Desert Bearpoppy (Arctomecon merriamii) Desert Bearpoppy (Arctomecon merriamii)
Desert Bearpoppy (Arctomecon merriamii)
Desert Bearpoppy flower bud
Desert Bearpoppy (Arctomecon merriamii)
Desert Bearpoppy seedpod
Desert Bearpoppy (Arctomecon merriamii)
Desert Bearpoppy seedpod
Desert Bearpoppy (Arctomecon merriamii)
Desert Bearpoppy open seedpod
Desert Bearpoppy (Arctomecon merriamii) Desert Bearpoppy (Arctomecon merriamii)
Desert Bearpoppy (Arctomecon merriamii) Desert Bearpoppy (Arctomecon merriamii)
Desert Bearpoppy (Arctomecon merriamii)
Desert Bearpoppy seeds
Desert Bearpoppy (Arctomecon merriamii)
Dried flower stalks persist through the winter
Desert Bearpoppy (Arctomecon merriamii) more to come ...

 
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Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate. Names generally follow the USDA database.
© 2014 Jim Boone; Last updated 110314

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