Bush poppy, tree poppy
California; south, coastal and scattered areas in the north
Dry slopes, foothills, fire-damaged areas, up to 6,000 feet
Up to 4 inches long; lancelotate, green and smooth with a prominent center vein
Mature specimens of dendromecon rigida can reach a height, or width, of 10 feet, with many branches from a thick woody stem, hence its common names of bush poppy or tree poppy. Branches have a dense covering of narrow, finely toothed green leaves. Numerous large flowers are produced in spring and early summer - 2.5 inches in diameter, consisting of two reddish sepals (which soon wither), four rounded yellow petals and a central cluster of short, orange-tipped stamens. Flowers are cup-shaped at first becoming almost flat as the petals open fully. They appear singly at the end of the leaf stems. The plant grows in California, along the Pacific coast and the foothills of inland mountain ranges.