The Magnoliidae
Family Overview - Papaverales
Papaveraceae - the Poppy Family
Diversity:  25 genera and about 200 species as treated by Cronquist but some (see Thorne treatment - Magnolianae) place within the circumscription of this family taxa treated by Cronquist as the Fumariaceae.  This broader circumscription (sensu lato or 's.l.') increases included taxa to 42 genera and ca. 660 species.  We follow Cronquist here, keeping taxa of the Fumariaceae as a distinct family (Texas taxa), and view the Papaveraceae in the strict sense (sensu stricto or 's.s.')

Distribution:  Temperate northern hemisphere, both Old World and New with - 5 genera with 13 species in Texas.

Floral structure:


flower often large and showy with crumpled petals, ovary a unilocular compound pistil

Significant features: syncarpous herbs with, caducous (early falling, often at anthesis) sepals, leaf blades often basal (some taxa scapose) and pinnately divided.  Most elements of the family express a milky or colored latex (bloodroot) derived from specialized cells (laticifers).

Papaver nudicaule - flower at anthesis with compound pistil show stigmatic crests Papaver somniferum - mature poricidal capsule with stigmatic crests elevated
Argemone polyanthemos at anthesis
Argemone polyanthemos past anthesis with red stigma and maturing, compound (multicarpellate) pistil

More information on the Papaveraceae


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5 Feb 2010