The leaves provide one means of distinguishing argemone corymbosa
from several similar species; they are relatively thick, have spines that while still long, are a little less densely arranged, and occur mostly along the edges and the undersides; the top surfaces of the leaves are largely smooth. The thick green stem and the buds also have a slightly less dense spine covering than other species. Buds are enclosed by three green sepals, tapering to a whitish point. Stems contain orange sap. Flowers measure between 2 and 3.5 inches in diameter, formed of four overlapping, pure white petals, between 100 and 120 yellow stamens, and a reddish, lobed pistil.Ssp corymbosa
in the Mojave Desert has leaves that are entire to shallowly lobed, while ssp arenicola
in north Arizona and southeast Utah has leaves which are more deeply lobed, to at least half way to the midvein.