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Dendromecon rigida (Tree poppy)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Dendromecon rigida

Dendromecon rigida Benth.

Tree Poppy, Bush Poppy

Papaveraceae (Poppy Family)


USDA Symbol: deri

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Tree-poppy is a stiff, rounded, evergreen shrub, normally 6 ft. high but sometimes taller. The main stems have grayish or whitish, shredding bark and bear narrow, gray-green, leathery leaves. Brilliant yellow, cup-shaped flowers at ends of short branches or on long stalks in leaf axils. Four-petaled, yellow flowers with numerous stamens occur singly at the ends of short branchlets.

Tree Poppy may be very common several years after a fire in chaparral. There is only one other species in the genus, Island Tree Poppy (D. harfordii), found on islands off the coast of southern California.


From the Image Gallery

4 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 10 feet tall, often shorter.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul


Native Distribution: CA Coast Ranges & w. base of Sierras from Shasta to Tulare Cos.
Native Habitat: Dry slopes; stony washes; below 6000 ft.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Dry, well-drained rocky or clay soils.
Conditions Comments: Must have perfectly drained soil and no fertilization.


Description: Propagation by seed is possible.
Seed Collection: Ripe fruits may be collected from May to July. Seeds are black.
Seed Treatment: Little is known about the germination of this species. Germination appears to be enhanced by incubating seeds at 40-70 degrees, alternately, for 50 days, and/or by burning litter on the surface of flats after the seeds are sown.
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 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2022-10-18
Research By: TWC Staff

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