Papaver radicatum subsp. polare
Bot. Mater. Gerb. Glavn. Bot. Sada RSFSR 4: 87. 1923.
Plants loosely to densely cespitose, sometimes even pulvinate, to 1 dm, with numerous short, dull, persistent leaf bases. Leaves to 4 cm; petiole to 1/2 length of leaf; blade green and blue-green on both surfaces, lanceolate, with 2(-3) pairs of primary lateral lobes; primary lobes broadly lanceolate to ovate, apex obtuse to rounded. Inflorescences: scapes curved, decumbent, often densely hispid, trichomes spreading, dark colored. Flowers to 3 cm diam.; petals yellow or white. Capsules subglobose to obovoid, to 1.5 cm, strigose, trichomes dark brown. The report of 2n = 84 (as P. cornwallisensis) attributed to G. Knaben (1959) by A. Löve (1962b) cannot be confirmed.
Phenology: Flowering Jun–Jul.
Habitat: Largely unvegetated, rocky tundra and clayey soils of the northernmost arctic islands
Elevation: 0-1000 m
Similar but poorly known plants from the highest elevations of the St. Elias and Richardson mountains may belong here. Papaver uschakovii Tolmatchew & Petrovsky from arctic Russia also appears to fall within the range of variation described here. Knowledge of this subspecies in Greenland, where evidently it also occurs, is inadequate to permit an accurate account of its distribution there. The names P. dahlianum Nordhagen and P. radicatum subsp. dahlianum (Nordhagen) Rändel, which apply to plants from northernmost Norway and Svalbard, have been applied also to North American specimens of P. radicatum subsp. polare. It may be that these entities are in fact the same, or that P. radicatum subsp. polare occurs also in northern Scandinavia along with distinct P. dahlianum, but present knowledge is insufficient for a definite determination.
If this taxon, as here circumscribed, is recognized instead at species rank, the correct name is Papaver cornwallisensis.