Arctomecon humilis

Common Names:
Colville bearclaw poppy, dwarf bearclaw poppy, dwarf bear-poppy
Growth Habit:
CPC Number:
Profile Contributors:
Sylvia Torti
Fully Sponsored

Reference Links

ITIS - Tropicos - USDA Plants - Fish & WildLife

Participating Institutions

The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
Red Butte Garden and Arboretum
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

The conservation of Arctomecon humilis is fully sponsored.
Sylvia Torti contributed to this Plant Profile.


This species of poppy is one of the rarest in the world, and was in fact one of the first species in the United States to be listed as federally endangered in 1979. Today, this species exists in only seven small locations outside of St. George, Utah, a city with a rapidly growing population. This suburban growth is one of the major threats to the species, but botanists have been so far successful in maintaining this species in the wild. In 1998, The Nature Conservancy was able to purchase a small parcel of land that contained most of one of these seven remaining populations, thus saving it from a new housing development. While this is a success story, the threats to the species continue because this population, and many of the other remaining populations, are now surrounded by development. One of the key factors in saving this species from extinction will be educating the public of the plight of this and other species, motivating individuals to aid in conservation efforts.

The flowers of this gorgeous poppy plant have four petals that are often crumpled. Seeds germinate in the Spring, depending on rainfall. Seeds are produced in capsules and are dropped from the plant when they are still immature. Maturity may take several years in the soil. Seeds are dispersed by ants. One population of poppies has been found to harbor three new and undescribed chemicals of medicinal value.

Distribution & Occurrence


Conservation, Ecology & Research