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Papaveraceae >>> Platystemon californicus
Photographed near Mesquite Wash, Maricopa Co., Arizona. April
ANNUAL: Delicate annual of spring. Plants in the Sonoran Desert are typically about
30 cm tall.
FLOWERS: White to yellowish-cream with six delicate petals and a dozen or more stamens and pistals. The flowers
are supported by tall, thin peduncles that are gracefully curved down as the
bud matures. Unopened buds are enclosed in three sepals.
LEAVES: Leaves are linear and alternate on stem; many leaves are
clustered at base of plant and are also sparsely arranged on stems above. Variably
hirsute with long hairs.
RANGE: Fairly common in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona and Mexico along
wash banks and on rocky slopes. Present only in springs following adequate rainfall.
This is a variable plant, i.e. from place to place the flower color, degree of
hirsuteness, leaf size and other traits change. Also found across much of southwestern North America.
FRUIT: Dry single-seeded segments that finally separate at maturity.
Papaveraceae -- Poppy Family