Platystemon californicus Benth.
Creamcups, California Creamcups
Papaveraceae (Poppy Family)
Synonym(s): Platystemon arizonicus, Platystemon californicus var. ciliatus, Platystemon californicus var. crinitus, Platystemon californicus var. horridulus, Platystemon californicus var. nutans, Platystemon californicus var. ornithopus, Platystemon confinis, Platystemon mohavensis
USDA Symbol: PLCA5
A soft-haired plant with several stems, each topped with 1 small, bowl-shaped flower resembling a cream to yellow buttercup. The delicate solitary flowers of this 6-12 in. annual are followed by a fruit which has been compared to tiny ears of corn with the husks removed. The flowers are long-stalked from a clump of basal leaves. The stamens are numerous, some of them flattened and petal-like.
This genus consists of only one species, within which there are some races with nearly white petals, others with yellow petals, and still others with cream petals that are yellow at the base.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Annual
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 1 foot tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
Bloom Notes: White to cream, sometimes with yellow tip and/or base, rarely yellow overall. Sometimes tinged red in age.
DistributionUSA: AZ , CA , DC , OR , UT
Native Distribution: Desert areas of AZ, s. UT & s. CA
Native Habitat: Open fields, sandy places & moist ground along streams; 1500 to 4500 ft.
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Moist but well-drained soils.
PropagationDescription: Sow seeds in spring.
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
Web ReferenceWebref 3 - Flora of North America (2014) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Platystemon californicus in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Platystemon californicus in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Platystemon californicus
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-02-23
Research By: TWC Staff