|Colville bearclaw poppy, dwarf bearclaw poppy, dwarf bear-poppy|
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
These plants are found in warm desert shrub communities. They exist only in the gypsum rich soils on the Shnabkaib, Middle Red, Upper Red, and Shinarump members of the Moenkopi Formation, between elevations of 2700 and 3300 feet.
|The population has dwindled to just 7 small locations east and south of St. George. (Smith 1998)|
Conservation, Ecology & Research
Seeds are dispersed by ants.
Rapid expansion of a nearby retirement community, as well as general suburban growth
Development of an airport
Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1985
Red Butte Garden is conducting research on seed propagation and tissue culture.
Allphin et al. (1998) have studied the populations genetics of this species, which will aid in its conservation.
Harper et al. (2000) have studied the demographics and reproductive biology of the species.
Pollinators must be protected to insure adequate outcrossing.
The BLM must continue to monitor off-road vehicle use in poppy habitat.
Harper, K.T.; Van Buren, R.; Aanderud, Z.T. The Influence of Interplant Distance and Number of Flowers on Seed Set in Dwarf Bear-Poppy. Southwestern rare and endangered plants: proceedings of the third conference; September 25-28; Flagstaff, AZ. In: Masch
Van Buren, R.; Harper, K.T. Genetic Variation Among Populations of Arctomecon (Papaveraceae). Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-GTR-283. Proceedings of the Southwestern Rare and Endangered Plant Conference; September 11-14; Flagstaff, AZ. In: Maschinski, J.; Hammond, H.