Argemone pleiacantha pleiacantha


Southwestern Prickly Poppy - Argemone pleiacantha pleiacantha
San Lorenzo, New Mexico, USA
July 22, 2015

In most years, the Southwestern Prickly Poppy is widely prevalent at this time of year.  In July 2015 the ante was upped, however, it seemed that everywhere you looked there was Prickly Poppy and Datura.  The subspecies of Prickly Poppy that we have in our area, Argemone p. pleiacantha, is found only in Arizona, New Mexico, Chihuahua, and Sonora.  There is only one other subspecies, A. p. ambigua, which is endemic to Arizona.  

The Sacramento Prickly Poppy, A. pinnatisecta, was formerly considered to be another subspecies, found only on the west slopes of the Sacramento Mountains in New Mexico, A. p. pinnatisecta.  That subspecies was not described until 1958.  This “splitting” has not been universally adopted.  The Sacramento Prickly Poppy, is considered endangered by both the United States and New Mexico.  

Edward Lee Greene first described the Southwestern Prickly Poppy in 1908.  The type specimen was collected by Orrick Baylor Metcalfe near Kingston on July 6, 1904, the image below is an isotype of that specimen.  The original specimen is referred to as the holotype, an isotype is a duplicate of the holotype.  The “small print” in the corner is shown in detail below.

Warm Springs Wash, East of Hillsboro, New Mexico
May 6


July 5, 2020: Photographs immediately above and below
Hillsboro, New Mexico

© Robert Barnes 2018-2023