Mojave gold poppy, desert golden poppy
The Mojave Desert, and adjoining areas (AZ, CA, NV, UT)
Between 4 and 12 inches
Washes, roadsides, hillsides, sandy or gravelly plains; up to 2,000 feet
Grey-green, about one inch long, divided several times into very short, linear lobes
Eschscholzia glyptosperma is a medium-sized poppy, commonly seen across the Mojave Desert. Leaves are divided into many short, linear lobes, and they grow only around the base, forming a neat, compact cluster, from where the leafless flower stems rise to a height of up to 12 inches, each topped by a single yellow flower. Buds tend to hang downwards but when open the flowers point upwards. Stems and leaves are hairless, bluish-green in color.
Flowers are broadly cup-shaped when fully open; the four obovate petals overlap slightly at the edges, and are centered on a green, lobed stigma and a ring of short orange stamens. The stigmas lengthen after pollination to form slender, green seed pods, up to 3.5 inches long. Underneath the petals are two fused sepals, which are discarded as the flower opens.