Kallstroemia grandiflora Torr. ex A. Gray
Arizona Poppy, Desert Poppy, Orange Caltrop, Summer Poppy
Zygophyllaceae (Creosote-Bush Family)
USDA Symbol: KAGR
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, some times 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 fruits 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
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Orange
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug , Sep
DistributionUSA: AZ , CA , NM , TX
Native Distribution: S.e. CA to w. TX, also Mex.
Native Habitat: Sandy deserts, plains & mesas below 5000 ft.
Growing ConditionsLight 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.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Seeds are important dove and quail food.
PropagationDescription: Seeds may take several years to germinate due to the presence of germination inhibitors that require several season to wash off.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
BibliographyBibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Kallstroemia grandiflora in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Kallstroemia grandiflora in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Kallstroemia grandiflora
MetadataRecord Modified: 2016-03-15
Research By: TWC Staff