Papaveraceae (Poppy Family)
Plants with regular, broad-petaled flowers. Stamens may be numerous, tufted around a prominent pistil. The fruit is a capsule.
Argemone munitassp. Dur. & Hilg.rotundata(Rydb.) Ownbey. Prickly Poppy. (Plate 6.134) A perennial with branching, leafy stems, 1–3 ft (0.3–1 m) tall, closely prickly throughout. Leaves, 1 1/2–6 in long, are lobed about halfway to the midribs, the lobes rounded and shallowly toothed. The flowers in terminal clusters are large and showy. The prickly sepals are ovate, each lobe tipped with a "tail." The six petals are thin, crepelike, and broadly wedge-shaped, 1 1/4–2 in (3–5 cm) long. Numerous yellow stamens surround the black-tipped ovary. The open flowers may be up to 4 in (10 cm) across. Local children call it the "fried egg flower." Mature seed capsules are elliptic-lanceolate, 1–2 1/4 in (2.5–5.6 cm) long, densely prickly, and tipped with the black pistil. The spreading prickles on this plant are up to 1/4 in (6 mm) long and very close. There is some variation, however, and this subspecies does gradually merge into ssp. argentea . The difference between them may not be well defined. Flower: Petals white.
Distribution. Common, dryish canyons and slopes, especially along roadways; Desert Scrub and Pinyon-juniper Woodland, 5,000–9,500 ft (1,524–2,896 m).
Eschscholzia covilleiGreene. Coville Gold-poppy.(Eschscholzia minutiflora var. darwinensis) (Plate 6.135) A small annual up to 12 in (30 cm) high, with a well-developed rosette of dissected basal leaves. The stems branch and carry some leaves also. It is much like a California Poppy in miniature form. It has the same conical cap, in lieu of sepals, which is pushed off by the expanding petals. Flowers are scattered among the upper branches. It has four petals, 1/4–1/2 in (6–13 mm) long, and 8 to 15 stamens tufted in the center. The seed capsule is linear, slightly curved, and about 1 1/2 in (3–8 mm) long. Flower: Yellow.
Distribution. Common, dry gravelly places; Desert Scrub, 3,500–6,000 ft (1,067–1,829 m).
Note: The small annual poppies vary considerably in size and form, depending on the seasonal precipitation. In a dry year the plants may be no more than 1 in (2.5 cm) high. The flowers become smaller as the season progresses. A similar taxon, E. minutiflora, does occur in the Inyo Mountains. Its flowers are usually smaller, and the basal rosette may not be well developed.