Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Argemone polyanthemos

Annual pricklepoppy, Bluestem pricklepoppy, Bluestem prickly poppy, Crested pricklypoppy, Pricklypoppy, Thistle poppy, White prickly poppy, White pricklypoppy

Papaveraceae (Poppy Family)

Argemone polyanthemos (Annual pricklepoppy)
Lytle, Melody
A branched, pale blue-green, leafy plant with white flowers, yellow sap, and slender yellow prickles all over.

Argema, in Greek, means cataract of the eye, for which species of this genus were supposedly a remedy. There are several species in the West, all similar, a few with yellow, pinkish, or lavender petals. The herbage of this poisonous plant is so prickly and distasteful that livestock avoid it.

Image Gallery:

13 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Root Type: Tap
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Leaf: Green
Flower: Flowers 5 inches.
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct


USA: AZ , CO , ID , IL , IN , IA , KS , MT , NE , NM , ND , OK , SD , TX , UT , WA , WY
Native Distribution: South-central New Mexico and northern half of Texas; north to South Dakota and eastern Wyoming.
Native Habitat: Prairie, Plains, Meadows, Pastures, Savannahs

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Gravelly, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay


Use Ornamental: Showy, Blooms ornamental, Long-blooming
Use Wildlife: Nectar-Bees, Nectar-Butterflies, Nectar-beetles
Warning: All parts of the plants are poisonous (including the seeds) if ingested. The spines contain a substance irritating to the skin. Sensitivity to a toxin varies with a personís age, weight, physical condition, and individual susceptibility. Children are most vulnerable because of their curiosity and small size. Toxicity can vary in a plant according to season, the plantís different parts, and its stage of growth; and plants can absorb toxic substances, such as herbicides, pesticides, and pollutants from the water, air, and soil.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Last Update: 2007-08-19