Crested prickly poppy
Texas and the Great Plains states, westwards into Arizona and Utah
Grassland, foothills, desert margins; 1,500 to 8,000 feet
Greyish green, up to 8 inches long; prickly and deeply lobed
Argemone polyanthemos flowers throughout late winter, spring and summer, but most strongly in the spring. Stems are stout and erect, light green in color, evenly and not too densely covered by long, light brown spines. Leaves are deeply lobed, divided almost to the midvein, which is white on the upper surface, yellowish below, and also has a few, smaller prickles, on the lower surface. The remainder of the leaf blades have no prickles, apart from the margins, in particular the ends of the lobes.
Buds are green, prickly, almost one inch long, enclosed by three horned sepals, which wither once the flower opens. Flowers are large, up to 4 inches in diameter; they have six overlapping, pure white petals and a center of around 150 yellow stamens surrounding a pistil, topped by a purple, 3 or 4 lobed stigma. Seed pods are oval, up to 2 inches long, armed with long, brown, widely spaced prickles.