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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 3 | Papaveraceae

7. Eschscholzia Chamisso in C. G. D. Nees, Horae Phys. Berol. 73. 1820 - [For Johann F. G. von Eschscholtz,. 1793.

[For Johann F. G. von Eschscholtz, 1831, Estonian physician and biologist who traveled with Chamisso on the Romanzoff (or Kotzebue) Expedition to the Pacific Coast]

Curtis Clark

Herbs , annual or perennial, scapose or caulescent, from taproots; sap colorless or clear orange. Stems leafy. Leaves alternate, basal and sometimes cauline, petiolate; blade 1-4× pinnately deeply lobed, lobes of each order usually 3; ultimate lobes narrow. Inflorescences terminal, cymose with bracts present, or 1-flowered. Flowers: receptacle dilated, forming cup beneath calyx, sometimes with free rim; perianth and androecium perigynous; sepals 2, connate, calyptrate, deciduous as unit; petals 4, rarely more (doubled flowers), obovate to obcuneate, with satin sheen from microscopic linear grooves; stamens 12-many; pistil 2-carpellate; ovary 1-locular; style absent; stigmas 4-8, spreading, linear. Fruits capsular, cylindric, 2-valved, dehiscing from base along placentas, often explosively. Seeds many, tan, brown, or black, spheric to ovoid, reticulate, ridged and burlike, or pitted, aril absent. x = 6, 7.

Species 12 (10 in the flora): w North America (United States), nw Mexico.

Eschscholzia species are introduced from cultivation elsewhere in warm-temperate regions worldwide.


Clark, C. and J. A. Jernstedt. 1978. Systematic studies of Eschscholzia (Papaveraceae). II. Seed coat microsculpturing. Syst. Bot. 3: 386-402. Ernst, W. R. 1964b. The genus Eschscholzia in the south Coast Ranges of California. Madroño 17: 281-294. Greene, E. L. 1905b. Revision of Eschscholtzia. Pittonia 5: 205-308. Lewis, H. and R. Snow. 1951. A cytotaxonomic approach to Eschscholzia. Madroño 11: 141-143.

1 Receptacular cup with spreading free rim.   2 Eschscholzia californica
+ Receptacular cup without spreading free rim.   (2)
2 (1) Plants scapose; ultimate leaf lobes acute; petals yellow; calyx glabrous.   (3)
+ Plants caulescent, with flowers borne on leafy stems (not readily apparent in young plants); ultimate leaf lobes acute or obtuse; petals yellow or orange; calyx glabrous or pubescent.   (4)
3 (2) Seeds burlike with raised ridges; petals 12 mm or shorter; California (Great Central Valley, Sierra Nevada foothills).   6 Eschscholzia lobbii
+ Seeds minutely pitted, not burlike; petals usually 12 mm or longer; California, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah (Mojave and Sonoran deserts).   3 Eschscholzia glyptosperma
4 (2) Calyx pubescent; buds nodding; leaf blades sparsely pubescent.   (5)
+ Calyx glabrous; buds nodding or erect; leaf blades essentially glabrous, never consistently pubescent.   (6)
5 (4) Petals orange or deep yellow throughout, 15–40 mm; receptacles broader than 1.5 mm.   5 Eschscholzia lemmonii
+ Petals yellow, sometimes with orange spot at base, 10–20 mm; receptacles narrower than 1.5 mm.   4 Eschscholzia hypecoides
6 (4) Older buds nodding.   (7)
+ Older buds erect.   (8)
7 (6) Leaf blades bright green or yellow-green, terminal lobes slender, acute.   8 Eschscholzia parishii
+ Leaf blades grayish or bluish green, terminal lobes broadened at apex, usually obtuse.   7 Eschscholzia minutiflora
8 (6) Receptacle somewhat swollen and translucent distally, usually broader than 2 mm.   (9)
+ Receptacle strictly obconic, not translucent distally, narrower than 2.5 mm.   (10)
9 (8) Petals (15–)20 mm or more, orange or deep yellow; California (Kern County).   5 Eschscholzia lemmonii
+ Petals 15 mm or less, yellow; inland California Coast Ranges.   10 Eschscholzia rhombipetala
10 (8) Flower buds blunt or rounded short-acuminate, tip less than 1/4 length of bud; ultimate leaf lobes elongate, giving diffuse appearance; California Channel Islands.   9 Eschscholzia ramosa
+ Flower buds apiculate-acuminate, tip usually more than 1/4 length of bud; ultimate leaf lobes short, giving compact appearance; California and Oregon mainland foothills.   1 Eschscholzia caespitosa

  • List of lower taxa


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