CPC Plant Profile: Sacramento Prickly-poppy
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Plant Profile

Sacramento Prickly-poppy (Argemone pleiacantha ssp. pinnatisecta)

The common name of this species, the Sacramento prickly poppy, speaks for itself. Photo Credit: Joyce Maschinski
Description
  • Global Rank: T2 - Imperiled
  • Legal Status: Federally Endangered
  • Family: Papaveraceae
  • State: NM
  • Nature Serve ID: 157783
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 03/05/1993

The Sacramento prickle-poppy produces attractive, grapefruit-sized white flowers while spiny leaves and fruits protect the plant from many predators. This species is found along drainages and roadsides near the Sacramento Mountains in New Mexico. It is a robust, herbaceous perennial, with multiple branching stems. It grows to about 0.5-1.5 m in height and has blue-green leaves with veins that are armored with stout yellow spines. It flowers from May to August. Another subspecies, Argemone pleiacantha ssp. pleiacantha, is considered common. This subspecies has leaves that are less deeply divided, capsule spines that are more dense, and branched at the base, and a yellow-orange latex in its stem. (New Mexico Rare Plant Technical Council 1999)

Participating Institutions
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Updates
  • 08/26/2020
  • Seed Collection

Continued seed collection and banking to ensure a genetically representative sample. Seeds of this species are held by Desert Botanical Garden and The Arboretum at Flagstaff.

  • 08/19/2020
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

Continued seed collection and banking to ensure a genetically representative sample. Seeds of this species are held by Desert Botanical Garden and The Arboretum at Flagstaff.

  • 08/19/2020
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

Continued seed collection and banking to ensure a genetically representative sample. Seeds of this species are held by Desert Botanical Garden and The Arboretum at Flagstaff.

  • 08/19/2020
  • Seed Collection

Continued seed collection and banking to ensure a genetically representative sample. Seeds of this species are held by Desert Botanical Garden and The Arboretum at Flagstaff.

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Endemic to 10 canyons on the western slope of the Sacramento Mountains in Otero County, central-southern New Mexico. Major threats include surface-disturbing activities from water pipeline projects, road construction and maintenance, flash floods, trampling and grazing from livestock, and off-road vehicles.

Joyce Maschinski, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

Threats include: Road construction and maintenance Flash floods Trampling and grazing from livestock Off-road vehicles (NatureServe 2001) Activities like highway maintenance or pipeline construction are threats because they could destroy some pl

Joyce Maschinski, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

In the late 1980s there were approximately 1,300 known individuals, but the number has likely declined since then. (New Mexico Rare Plant Technical Council 1999)

Joyce Maschinski, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

Seeds of this species are held by Desert Botanical Garden and The Arboretum at Flagstaff.

Joyce Maschinski, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

None known.

Joyce Maschinski, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

Studies into the basic biology of the species, as well as habitat requirements, would be beneficial.

Joyce Maschinski, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

Continued seed collection and banking to ensure a genetically representative sample.

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Photos
Nomenclature
Taxon Argemone pleiacantha ssp. pinnatisecta
Authority G.B. Ownbey
Family Papaveraceae
CPC Number 277
ITIS 18925
USDA ARPLP
Common Names Sacramento prickly-poppy | southwestern pricklypoppy | Sacramento prickly poppy
Associated Scientific Names Argemone pleiacantha ssp. pinnatisecta | Argemone pleiacantha var. pinnatisecta
Distribution In and around Otero County in New Mexico, populations are found in 10 canyons on the western slope of the Sacramento Mountains from Fresnal Canyon on the north to Escondido Canyon on the south. (New M
State Rank
State State Rank
New Mexico S2
Habitat

Loose, gravelly soils in open disturbed sites; canyon bottoms and slopes, and occasionally along roadsides; found at 1,300-2,200 m (4,200-7,100 ft) in elevation. (New Mexico Rare Plant Technical Council 1999)

Ecological Relationships

None known.

Pollinators
Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
Bees
Carpenter bees Xylocopa californica arizonensis Confirmed Pollinator Link
Honey bees Apis mellifera Confirmed Pollinator Link
Bumble bees Bombus Confirmed Pollinator Link
Carpenter bees Xylocopa californica arizonensis Confirmed Pollinator Link
Honey bees Apis mellifera Confirmed Pollinator Link
Bumble bees Bombus Confirmed Pollinator Link
Butterflies & Moths
Butterflies Confirmed Pollinator Link
Butterflies Confirmed Pollinator Link
Beetles
Soldier beetles Cantharidae Confirmed Pollinator Link
Lizard beetles Liguridae Confirmed Pollinator Link
Soldier beetles Cantharidae Confirmed Pollinator Link
Lizard beetles Liguiridae Confirmed Pollinator Link
Flies
Flies Confirmed Pollinator Link
Flies Confirmed Pollinator Link
Other
Hymenoptera Confirmed Pollinator Link
Wasp Confirmed Pollinator Link
Reintroduction
Lead Institution State Reintroduction Type Year of First Outplanting

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