Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Papaver heterophyllum

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: PapaverView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual [perennial herb]; sap white, orange, or red. Leaf: basal and cauline [or basal], deeply pinnate-lobed, glabrous or hairy, glaucous or not. Inflorescence: axillary or terminal, 1-flowered. Flower: bud nodding; sepals 2, shed at flower; petals generally 4, free, obovate to wedge-shaped, white to red or purple; stamens many, free; placentas 4--20, style 0(1), stigma disk- or head-like, lobes 4--20. Fruit: dehiscent by pores below stigma. Seed: many, < 0.7 mm, reniform, net-ridged, brown or black.
Species In Genus: 70+ species: especially Eurasia. Etymology: (Latin: poppy) Note: Papaver dubium L. (fruit +- oblong, glabrous; peduncle hairs near flower appressed, stiff), perhaps in California as waif.
eFlora Treatment Author: Gary L. Hannan
Papaver heterophyllum (Benth.) Greene
Habit: Plant 30--60 cm; sap yellow. Leaf: basal and cauline, 2--12 cm, deeply pinnate-lobed, glabrous to sparsely hairy, petioled; 1° lobes toothed or lobed. Inflorescence: axillary, 1-flowered; peduncle 5--20 cm. Flower: sepals 4--10 mm; petals 10--20 mm, wedge-shaped, orange-red, purple-spotted at base, shed after flower; filaments purple, anthers yellow; carpels 4--11, style 1, slender, stigma head-like, lobes 4--11. Fruit: 1--2 cm, obconic to obovate. Seed: many, 0.4 mm, reniform, rough-net-ridged, brown or black. Chromosomes: 2n=56.
Ecology: Grassy areas, openings in chaparral; Elevation: < 1500 m. Bioregional Distribution: s NW, c&s SNF, SnJV, CW, SW; Distribution Outside California: northern Baja California. Flowering Time: Apr--May
Synonyms: Stylomecon heterophylla (Benth.) G. Taylor
Jepson eFlora Author: Gary L. Hannan
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

Previous taxon: Papaver californicum
Next taxon: Papaver hybridum

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Botanical illustration including Papaver heterophyllum

botanical illustration including Papaver heterophyllum


Citation for this treatment: Gary L. Hannan 2012, Papaver heterophyllum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 13, 2021.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2021, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 13, 2021.

Papaver heterophyllum
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© 2014 Neal Kramer
Papaver heterophyllum
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© 2015 Barry Breckling
Papaver heterophyllum
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© 2014 Neal Kramer
Papaver heterophyllum
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© 2005 Christopher L. Christie
Papaver heterophyllum
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© 2015 Aaron Schusteff
Papaver heterophyllum
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© 2007 Neal Kramer

More photos of Papaver heterophyllum in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Papaver heterophyllum:
s NW, c&s SNF, SnJV, CW, SW
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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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All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

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 (fruiting time in some monocot genera).