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Vascular Plants of California
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Arctomecon merriamii

Higher Taxonomy
Family: PapaveraceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual to small tree; sap colorless, yellow, orange, red, or white. Leaf: basal, cauline, or both, simple and entire, toothed, or lobed, or 1--3-pinnate-dissected or compound; cauline generally alternate; stipules 0. Inflorescence: terminal, 1-flowered or cyme, raceme, or panicle; bracts generally present. Flower: bisexual, radial, bilateral, or biradial; sepals 2--3, shed after flower; petals generally 2 × sepals in number; stamens generally many; ovary 1, superior, chamber 1, style 0 or 1, stigmas or lobes 2--many, ovules few to many. Fruit: capsule, dehiscent by valves or pores, +- nut, or breaking transversely into 1-seeded, indehiscent units. Seed: fleshy appendage generally 0.
Genera In Family: 25--30 genera, 200 species: northern temperate, northern tropics; some cultivated (Papaver, Eschscholzia, Hunnemannia), source of opiates. Note: Stylomecon moved to Papaver. Corydalis, Dicentra, Fumaria in Fumariaceae in FNANM, elsewhere. Glaucium flavum Crantz is a waif. According to FNANM (3:300--301), Hunnemannia fumariifolia Sweet (+- like Eschscholzia except sepals free) an occasional waif in California, but documentation evidently lacking. Fleshy appendage of seed sometimes for dispersal by ants.
eFlora Treatment Author: Gary L. Hannan & Curtis Clark, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: ArctomeconView Description 

Habit: Perennial herb; hairs generally +- 5--15 mm; taproot stout; sap colorless or yellow. Leaf: generally basal, obovate or wedge-shaped, long white-hairy; teeth rounded. Inflorescence: terminal, 1-flowered. Flower: bud nodding; sepals 2--3, long-hairy; petals 4 or 6, free, obovate, white [yellow], generally persistent after flower; stamens many, free; placentas 3--6, style 1, stigma lobes 3--6. Fruit: ovate to oblong, dehiscent from tip. Seed: few, oblong, wrinkled, black; aril present; fleshy appendage present.
Species In Genus: 3 species: southwestern United States. Etymology: (Greek: bear poppy, from long hairs)
Arctomecon merriamii Coville
Habit: Plant 2--5 dm. Stem: glaucous. Leaf: 2.5--12 cm. Flower: sepals 3, 15--20 mm; petals 6, 25--40 mm. Fruit: 25--40 mm. Seed: 1.5--2 mm.
Ecology: Rocky slopes; Elevation: 800--1600 m. Bioregional Distribution: ne DMoj; Distribution Outside California: southern Nevada. Flowering Time: Apr--May
Unabridged Note: Arctomecon californica Torr. & Frém. (sepals 3, glabrous; petals 6, yellow) in southwestern Nevada, northern Arizona, but undocumented for California.
Jepson eFlora Author: Gary L. Hannan & Curtis Clark
Jepson Online Interchange
Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

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Botanical illustration including Arctomecon merriamii

botanical illustration including Arctomecon merriamii


Citation for this treatment: Gary L. Hannan & Curtis Clark 2012, Arctomecon merriamii, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on February 15, 2019.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2019, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on February 15, 2019.

Arctomecon merriamii
click for enlargement
© 2010 James M. Andre
Arctomecon merriamii
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© 2006 Gary A. Monroe
Arctomecon merriamii
click for enlargement
© 2010 James M. Andre
Arctomecon merriamii
click for enlargement
© 2006 Gary A. Monroe
Arctomecon merriamii
click for enlargement
© 2006 Gary A. Monroe
Arctomecon merriamii
click for enlargement
© 2009 California Academy of Sciences

More photos of Arctomecon merriamii in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Arctomecon merriamii:
ne DMoj;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.