Torrey & Frémont in J. C. Frémont

in J. C. Frémont, Rep. Exped. Rocky Mts., 312. 1845

Common names: Desert bearclaw-poppy
Etymology: Greek arktos, bear, alluding to the long-pilose pubescence, and mekon, poppy
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 3.
Herbs, perennial, evergreen, cespitose, scapose or very short-caulescent and subscapose, from taproots. Stems (caudices) when present leafy, erect, branching, covered with marcescent leaf bases. Leaves all or mostly basal and rosulate, petiolate; blade cuneate to fan-shaped, 1×-lobed distally, glaucous, long-pilose, hairs flexuous, barbed; margins entire; lobes acute, long-bristled. Inflorescences terminal, cymiform, simple or branching; bracts present; buds nodding. Flowers: sepals 2 or 3, distinct; petals persistent, 4 or 6; stamens many; pistil 3-6-carpellate; ovary 1-locular; style 1 and short, or absent; stigmas 1 per carpel, connate, capitate, cordately 2-lobed. Capsules erect, 3-6-valved, dehiscing from apex leaving persistent placental ribs unseparated at apex, valve tips recurving. Seeds several to many, dark brown, shining, ovoid, 1.5-3 mm, aril present. x = 12.


North America (Mojave Desert).


Species 3 (3 in the flora).


1 Petals 4, 1.2–2.5 cm, marcescent; leaf blades minutely hirsute but only sparsely long-pilose. Arctomecon humilis
1 Petals 6, 2.5–4 cm, caducous; leaf blades copiously long-pilose. > 2
2 Inflorescences 1(–6)-flowered; flower buds long-pilose; petals white. Arctomecon merriamii
2 Inflorescences 3–20-flowered; flower buds glabrous; petals deep yellow. Arctomecon californica