Plant Image
Granite Mtn - Tr 308 - Sue Smith

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Argemone pleiacantha - southwestern pricklypoppy

Other Common Names: bluestem pricklepoppy, prickly poppy, thistle poppy, chicalote, cowboys' fried egg
Plant Form: Forb or Subshrub

Family: Papaveraceae

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Willow Lake Tr
Sue Smith
Young plant - spring
Willow Lake Tr
Sue Smith
Plant - spring
Granite Mtn - Tr 308
Sue Smith
Stem spines and latex
Willow Lake Tr
Sue Smith
Seed pods
Willow Lake Tr
Sue Smith
Spines - back of leaf
Willow Lake Tr
Sue Smith
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Perennial
General Desc: An upright plant with large white flowers and very spiny stems and leaves.
Identification notes: Erect perennial to 4 feet tall. Prickly stems, leaves and seed capsules. Orange latex. Clasping bluish-green leaves are divided into sharp, tooth-like lobes. Large white solitary flowers at ends of branches have yellow centers.
Height: 1-1/2 to 4 feet


Habitat Description: Grows abundantly in overgrazed or otherwise disturbed soils such as along highways. Likes mesas and washes.
Plant Communities: Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: 3500 - 6000 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: White     Shape: Regular not in clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: Apr - Nov
Description: Flowers to 5 inches wide with 4 to 6 slightly cupped, tissue-paper thin, slightly overlapping, crinkled petals and numerous bright orange stamens.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Bluish-green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Narrow     Leaf Margin: Lobed     Leaf Attachment: Alternate     Leaves Clasp: Y
Hairs: No     Spines: Y
Leaf Description: Leaves are spiny, deeply lobed, lance-shaped and clasp the stem, uppermost leaves sometimes clasping. When cut, the stem oozes an orange latex substance.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Green   
Fruit Type: Capsule
Fruit Notes: Bumpy, spiny, oblong, erect green capsule, 1 to 2 inches long, which turns brown.
Seed Notes: Tiny, pitted dark seeds.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Nov 21, 2021
Content Questions/Comments: Email Mary Barnes  
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