Prickly Poppy – Argemone munita

Prickly Poppy plant in bloomPrickly Poppy plant in bloom

Last week while I was out photographing in the west desert’s Stansbury Mountain Range I saw a Prickly Poppy (Argemone munita) in bloom in the road that goes up to one of the canyons and had to stop to take images of it, I love the almost crepe paper look the flower petals have. The Prickly Poppy is well named, the leaves and flower stems do have spines on them. Cattle won’t eat Prickly Poppy probably because of the prickly spines but in addition the sap of this wildflowers is said to be poisonous. I know when I was close to the plant those spines made me think “I wouldn’t want to touch that plant!”.

Prickly Poppy close upPrickly Poppy close up

The flowers are about 4 to 5 inches across, white with lovely yellow stamens and a dark pistil in the center. It looks a bit like a sunny side up egg. I did not notice or detect an aroma when I was close to the plant but there were plenty of bees flying around the blooms.

This lovely perennial is also called flatbud prickly poppy, Mexican poppy, thistle poppy, chicalote.

Photographing birds is my passion but I can’t resist photographing wildflowers either when I don’t have a bird visible in my viewfinder!


* I’m wandering around in the wild country again so please feel free to share this post with your family, friends and wildflower lovers!

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About Mia McPherson

I am a nature lover, wildlife watcher and a bird photographer. I first become serious about bird photography when I moved to Florida in 2004 and it wasn’t long before I was hooked (addicted is more like it). My move to the Salt Lake area of Utah was a great opportunity to continue observing their behavior and to pursue my passion for photographing birds.


  1. I also have a book on wildflowers and I shoot them often to get the ID later on (which is the best part, it’s like detective work). Good whites on these shots.

  2. I am so very glad that you couldn’t resist them. I couldn’t either.

  3. Jane Chesebrough

    I like both the birds eye view and the close-up of this pretty flower-great focus and detail.

  4. This is a gorgeous specimen. I see these all the time, blooming along I-10 in west Texas, but they are never this big.

  5. Very pretty! I can’t resist these either!! :)

  6. lovely! Thank you.

    I enjoy your work enormously.

  7. of course you can’t resist them…If you like birds, you like flowers. Birds are flying flowers. Thanks for the bouquet. I love these flowers, too.

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