Dendromecon harfordii Kellogg

Channel Island Tree Poppy
Papaveraceae (Poppy Family)


Channel Island tree or bush poppy is an erect, slender-branched shrubby perennial growing to as much as 18' tall with alternate, glaucous-green entire-margined leaves that are oblong-ovate to elliptic and have generally rounded tips.  The flowers are solitary and are terminal on the ends of short branchlets. The two sepals are early deciduous, and there are four bright yellow petals from 3/4" to 1" long which are obovate to rounded. Stamens are numerous with short filaments and there are two flattish stigma lobes. Tree poppy inhabits somewhat shrubby slopes below 1800' on Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa Islands and is uncommon.  Munz's Flora of Southern California listed this taxa as Dendromecon rigida ssp. harfordii but Jepson has raised its status to a separate species.  The differentiating characters between this and Dendromecon rigida (bush poppy) are as follows:  D. harfordii:  leaf blade 1.5-3X as long as wide, tip generally rounded, margin entire.  D. rigida:  leaf blade 3-8X as long as wide, tip acute, margin minutely toothed.  This species blooms mostly from April to July.  These pictures were taken at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Dendromecon 2) harfordii.
Pronunciation: den-dro-MEE-kon har-FORD-ee-eye.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.