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What's Blooming Now: Mexican Gold Poppies

After a long, rainy winter, we’ve been rewarded with an abundant collection of wildflowers. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing my photos of what’s blooming in the Wickenburg area with wickenburg-az.com readers. I urge you to get out and about in the desert to enjoy nature’s colorful display.


Mexican Gold Poppies

A closeup shot of Mexican Gold Poppies, photographed near Aguila, AZ on March 21, 2010. (Ciick for a larger view.)

Poppies are among the first flowers to appear in the desert in the springtime. I’ve had poppies appear in my yard as early as January! This year, however, they began blooming in March and, as I write this, are still blanketing hillsides with their bright yellow flowers.

The most common type of poppy in Arizona is the Mexican Gold Poppy. It grows at elevations below 4,500 feet on slops, plains, foothills, and mesas. The plants grow from seeds each year and bloom in full sunlight only, closing each night. After pollination, the plants produce long seed pods with many tiny dark seeds. When the pods dry, they “pop” to spread the seeds.

Poppies at Vulture Peak

Poppies blanket a hillside on the east side of Vulture Peak on March 28, 2010. (Ciick for a larger view.)

You can see poppies just about anywhere around Wickenburg. Some landscape companies consider them weeds and will remove them when performing landscape maintenance. But you have to admit that they’re a beautiful addition to our natural landscape for the few weeks we get to enjoy them each year.

Last 5 posts by Maria Langer

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