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Kallstroemia grandiflora (Arizona poppy)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy

Kallstroemia grandiflora

Kallstroemia grandiflora Torr. ex A. Gray

Arizona Poppy, Desert Poppy, Orange Caltrop, Summer Poppy

Zygophyllaceae (Creosote-Bush Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Forming large populations in favorable years, the showy flowers of this annual plant superficially resemble the California poppy. Orange Caltrop grows 2-3 feet tall, sometimes more, and its several branches are quite hairy. It is inclined to spread and is often seen in clumps 2-5 feet across. Leaves are opposite and compound, with 5-10 pairs of leaflets about 1 inch long on each side of the midrib, like the feather of a bird. It is a favorite bird food, especially liked by doves. The flowers, often 2 1/2 inches in diameter, have 5 petals, 5 sepals, and 10 stamens. They are orange in color with dark-vermillion centers.

These are not Poppies, and they are not closely related, but the resemblance is there and large patches provide a display as brilliant and spectacular as those of California Poppies (Eschscholtzia californica). This is one of the most handsome wildflowers in the Southwest, frequent along roadsides. There are several other Kallstroemica species that can be recognized by the opposite, pinnately compound leaves on trailing stems. They have corollas only about 1/2" (1.3 cm) wide. All species are Southwestern. One, Small-flowered Carpetweed (K. parviflora), has orange flowers, and a beak on the fruit that is longer than the round body. Two have yellow flowers and short beaks. On Hairy Carpetweed (K. hirsutissima) sepals do not drop off, and the base of the fruit's beak is bristly-hairy. California Carpetweed (K. californica) has sepals that usually drop off after the flower opens, and has no hairs, or only small ones at the base of the beak.


From the Image Gallery

11 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Schizocarp
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Orange , Yellow
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct


USA: AZ , CA , NM , TX
Native Distribution: S.e. CA to w. TX, also Mex.
Native Habitat: Sandy deserts, plains & mesas below 5000 ft.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Description: Sandy soils.
Conditions Comments: Summer poppy seeds germinate in response to summer rains and complete their life cycle in a few months.


Use Wildlife: Seeds are important dove and quail food.
Attracts: Birds


Description: Seeds may take several years to germinate due to the presence of germination inhibitors that require several season to wash off.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR


Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller

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Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Kallstroemia grandiflora in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Kallstroemia grandiflora in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Kallstroemia grandiflora


Record Modified: 2023-02-15
Research By: TWC Staff

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