Prickly Poppy

Genus Argemone
Poppy Family (Papaveraceae)

Prickly Poppy
(Argemone munita)

This plant blooms all summer along roadsides, with large showy white flowers which look like crumpled tissue paper from a distance. It usually has 2 spiny sepals, 4 petals, and a cluster of many yellow stamens. In the very center is a dark 4-lobed stigma.
The plant contains poisonous alkaloids. One source said that the seeds contain a narcotic similar to opium. But the entire plant is armed with spines, so it is seldom eaten by livestock.
The genus name Argemone is from a Greek word meaning "cataract", because at one time the plant was used as a medicine to treat this eye disease.

Along Utah Highway U-24
Sevier County, Utah


by Sandra Bray