Arctomecon merriami

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Peter George
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-09-03
Arctomecon merriami

The question about Papaver kluanense got me thinking about a poppy that I've been intrigued by for years, but have never tried. That poppy is Arctomecon merriami, and Alan Bradshaw has seed available. He lists it as a zone 7 plant, but sometimes the zones listed are not really accurate. Anyone have any experience with it in the wild or in cultivation?

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Peter George
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-09-03

I've seen it flowering in the Mojave, but it has only a few flowers at a time, and the flowers fade fast, and ants apparently relish the seeds, so there simply are not very many of them in nature. And, of course, the seeds have (reputedly) poor germination. Alan Bradshaw recommends GA3, but I've never actually tried to germinate them. I would if I thought they'd have a chance to make it here in our 'sort of' zone 6.

Peter George, Petersham, MA (north central MA, close to the NH/VT borders), zones 5b and 6 around the property.

Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-04

I have seen Bearpoppy growing around the Las Vegas area on clay flats incrusted with white mineral deposits, and have been trying to grow it.
I planted seed last season with no results. I left the pots out to see if I could get any to sprout this season. If not I still have seed in reserve.

Here are it's only close relatives. Arctomecon californica and Arctomecon humilis. Sorry to say but Arctomecon humilis is listed as endangered. I would still like to give Arctomecon californica a try.

From the High Desert Steppe
of the Great Basin and the Eastern
Escarpment of the Sierra Nevada Range
Located in Reno/Sparks,NV  zone 6-7
John P Weiser

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