Argemone pleiacantha ssp. pinnatisecta

Southwestern Pricklypoppy

FWS Focus

Overview

Characteristics
Overview

The Sacramento prickly poppy, Argemone pleiacantha ssp. pinnatisecta, is a robust, herbaceous perennial endemic to several canyons in the Sacramento Mountains, which occurs in Otero County, New Mexico. First collected in 1953 by Mr. G.B. Ownbey and Mr. Findley, the taxon was described by Mr. Ownbey in Monograph of the Genus Argemone for North America and the West Indies (Ownbey 1953), and including the holotype description of A. pinnatisecta. The poppy was listed as endangered under the ESA in 1989 (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1989) and its status remains unchanged.

This member of the poppy family (Papaveraceae) has 3-12 prickly stems branching from the base, and commonly grows to a height of 5-15 decimeters (20- 60 inches) (Soreng 1982). The pale lemon to nearly white milky sap readily distinguishes the Sacramento prickly poppy from the typical subspecies, which have yellow­ orange sap. The attractive flowers have numerous yellow stamens and six white petals that are 3-4 centimeters (1.2-1.6 inches) long and as wide. Leaves are long, relatively narrow, and have box­ shaped sinuses between spine-tipped lobes.

The species grows in limestone canyons, along roadsides, fields, grassy flats, stee slopes, and floodplain and channel deposits and appears to favor moist soil conditions. Living approximately seven to nine years, the species often dies back to the root crown each year when moisture is limited. Mature plants can be large and vigorous for multiple years, and then can remain dormant in a subsequent year. Germination has been observed to occur between October and November, through late winter into spring, and into August. Successful recruitment into the population requires sufficient moisture for the establishment of seedlings (U.S. Forest Service 2004). Seedlings grow slowly, producing a juvenile rosette the first year. Seedlings are delicate, susceptible to desiccation, and may be dislodged by floods or livestock trampling. Young plants occupy open, disturbed habitat with minimal competing vegetation (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2004).

At the time of listing in 1989, major threats to the poppy included drought, livestock grazing, water diversion and pipeline construction, road construction and maintenance activities, and flooding (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1994). When the Sacramento Prickly Poppy Recovery Plan was completed in 1994, off-highway vehicle use was added as a threat (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1994). Since 1999, a fungal disease with symptoms similar to those of a stem canker has been added as a potential threat to the species (Sivinski 1999).

Brown, D. 1982. Biotic Communities of the American Southwest. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, Arizona.

Ownbey, G.B. 1958. Monograph of the Argemone for North America and the West Indies. Memoirs of the Torrey Botanical Club. Torrey Botanical Society. Vol. 21:1. 149 pp.

Sivinski, R. 1999. Sacramento Prickly Poppy Habitat Study. 1998-1999 Progress Report. (Section 6 Segment 13) Progress Report to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 5 pp.

Soreng, R.J. 1982. Status report on Aregemone pleiacantha subsp. Pinnatisecta. Department of Biology, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces. 24 pp.

Tonne, P. 2008. Results of Sacramento Prickly Poppy Studies, Surveys, and Monitoring, 2006-2008. Progress Report (Section 6 Segment 13) to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Natural Heritage New Mexico. Albuquerque, New Mexico. 53 pp.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1989. Final Rule to Determine Argemone pleiacantha spp. pinnatisecta (Sacramento prickly poppy) to be an Endangered Species. Federal Register, Vol. 54. No. 163:35302-35305.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1994. Sacramento Prickly Poppy (Argemone pleiacantha ssp.

pinnatisecta) Recovery Plan. Albuquerque, New Mexico. 42 pp.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2004. Final biological opinion: proposed reauthorization of livestock grazing on the Sacramento Grazing Allotment, Sacramento Ranger District, Lincoln National Forest, New Mexico 2-22-00-F-473. New Mexico Ecological Services Field Office, Albuquerque, New Mexico. February 4, 2004. 83 pp. with attachment.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2012a. Report to Congress on the Recovery of Threatened and Endangered Species Fiscal Years 2009-2010. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Endangered Species Program, www. fws.gov/endangered, Arlington, Va. January 2012. 47 pp.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2012b. Reauthorization of continued livestock grazing on the Sacramento and Dry Canyon Allotments, located on the Lincoln National Forest,

Otero County, New Mexico. Cons. # 22420-2000-F-473. New Mexico Ecological Services Field Office, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 77 pp.

U.S. Forest Service. 2004. Final Environmental Impact Statement Sacramento, Dry Canyon, and Davis Grazing Allotments. Lincoln National Forest, Otero County, New Mexico. Lincoln National Forest, Alamogordo. July 28, 2004. 125 pp. with Appendices.

U.S. Forest Service. 2004. Final Environmental Impact Statement Sacramento, Dry Canyon, and Davis Grazing Allotments. Lincoln National Forest, Otero County, New Mexico. Lincoln National Forest, Alamogordo. July 28, 2004. 125 pp. with Appendices.

U.S. Forest Service. 2010. Letter from Gary K. Ziehe to Wally Murphy responding to the August 26, 2009, New Mexico Ecological Services Field Office letter; supplemental information to the Biological Assessment for the Sacramento Grazing Allotment. Lincoln National Forest, Otero County, New Mexico. March 17, 2010. 9 pp. with botany notes.

Scientific Name

Argemone pleiacantha ssp. pinnatisecta
Common Name
southwestern pricklypoppy
Sacramento prickly poppy
FWS Category
Flowering Plants
Kingdom

Location in Taxonomic Tree

Identification Numbers

TSN:

Characteristics

Characteristic category

Habitat

Characteristics
Habitat

Habitat for the poppy extends through a variety of plant biotic communities within the Sacramento Mountains. The species occurs in steep, rocky canyons between the pinyon/juniper zone of the Chihuahuan Desert Scrublands and Grasslands (1,310 m [4,300 ft]), and the lower edge of the ponderosa pine community of the Great Basin Conifer Woodlands (2,164 m [7,100 ft]) (Brown 1982; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1994). Habitats vary from xeric uplands to mesic sites, and include arid canyon bottoms, dry terraces above riparian riparian
Definition of riparian habitat or riparian areas.

Learn more about riparian
areas, and stream banks, as well as areas around springs and seeps (U.S. Forest Service 2004). Plants grow directly in the rocks and gravel of stream beds; on vegetated bars of silt, gravel, and rock; on cut slopes; and on terraces above stream channels (U.S. Fish and Wildlife 2004).

Brown, D. 1982. Biotic Communities of the American Southwest. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, Arizona.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1994. Sacramento Prickly Poppy (Argemone pleiacantha ssp. pinnatisecta) Recovery Plan. Albuquerque, New Mexico. 42 pp.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2004. Final biological opinion: proposed reauthorization of livestock grazing on the Sacramento Grazing Allotment, Sacramento Ranger District, Lincoln National Forest, New Mexico 2-22-00-F-473. New Mexico Ecological Services Field Office, Albuquerque, New Mexico. February 4, 2004. 83 pp. with attachment.

U.S. Forest Service. 2004. Final Environmental Impact Statement Sacramento, Dry Canyon, and Davis Grazing Allotments. Lincoln National Forest, Otero County, New Mexico. Lincoln National Forest, Alamogordo. July 28, 2004. 125 pp. with Appendices.

Forest

A dense growth of trees and underbrush covering a large tract.

Mountain

A landmass that projects conspicuously above its surroundings and is higher than a hill.

River or Stream

A natural body of running water.

Rural

Environments influenced by humans in a less substantial way than cities. This can include agriculture, silvaculture, aquaculture, etc.

Springs or Seeps

Areas where ground water meets the surface.

Characteristic category

Physical Characteristics

Characteristics
Size & Shape

This member of the Poppy family (Papaveraceae) has 3-12 prickly stems branching from the base, and commonly grows to a height of 5-15 decimeters (20- 60 inches) (Soreng 1982). The pale lemon to nearly white milky sap readily distinguishes this subspecies from the typical subspecies, which has yellow­ orange sap. The attractive flowers have numerous yellow stamens and six white petals that are 3-4 centimeters (1.2-1.6 inches) long and as wide. Leaves are long. relatively narrow, and have box­ shaped sinuses between spine-tipped lobes (Ownbey 1958).

Ownbey, G.B. 1958. Monograph of the Argemone for North America and the West Indies. Memoirs of the Torrey Botanical Club. Torrey Botanical Society. Vol. 21:1. 149 pp.

Soreng, R.J. 1982. Status report on Aregemone pleiacantha subsp. Pinnatisecta. Department of Biology, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces. 24 pp.

Color & Pattern

The attractive flowers have numerous yellow stamens and six white petals that are 3-4 centimeters (1.2-1.6 inches) long and as wide. Leaves are long. relatively narrow, and have box­ shaped sinuses between spine-tipped lobes.

Ownbey, G.B. 1958. Monograph of the Argemone for North America and the West Indies. Memoirs of the Torrey Botanical Club. Torrey Botanical Society. Vol. 21:1. 149 pp.

Soreng, R.J. 1982. Status report on Aregemone pleiacantha subsp. Pinnatisecta. Department of Biology, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces. 24 pp.

Characteristic category

Lifecycle

Characteristics
Lifespan

The poppy is an herbaceous perennial that lives approximately seven to nine years (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2013).

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.  2013.  Sacramento Prickly Poppy (Argemone pleiacantha ssp. pinnatisecta) 5-Year Review.  Albuquerque, NM.  45 pp.

Lifecycle

The poppy is an herbaceous perennial that lives approximately seven to nine years (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2013). The species often dies back to the root crown each year when moisture is limited. Mature plants can be large and vigorous for multiple years, and then can remain dormant in a subsequent year. Germination has been observed to occur between October and November, through late winter into spring, and in August. Successful recruitment into the population requires sufficient moisture for the establishment of seedlings (U.S. Forest Service 2004). Seedlings grow slowly, producing a juvenile rosette the first year. Seedlings are delicate, susceptible to desiccation, and may be dislodged by floods or livestock trampling. Young plants occupy open, disturbed habitat with minimal competing vegetation (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2004).

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2004. Final biological opinion: proposed reauthorization of livestock grazing on the Sacramento Grazing Allotment, Sacramento Ranger District, Lincoln National Forest, New Mexico 2-22-00-F-473. New Mexico Ecological Services Field Office, Albuquerque, New Mexico. February 4, 2004. 83 pp. with attachment.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.  2013.  Sacramento Prickly Poppy (Argemone pleiacantha ssp. pinnatisecta) 5-Year Review.  Albuquerque, NM.  45 pp.

U.S. Forest Service. 2004. Final Environmental Impact Statement Sacramento, Dry Canyon, and Davis Grazing Allotments. Lincoln National Forest, Otero County, New Mexico. Lincoln National Forest, Alamogordo. July 28, 2004. 125 pp. with Appendices.

Reproduction

The poppy becomes established in a narrow range of habitats and undergoes inter- and intra-annual population fluctuations. While this poppy can produce a relatively large amount of seed, germination rates and seedling success are strongly influenced by available moisture. Following germination, young plants have insufficient roots to survive a prolonged dry spell. Lack of moisture at the optimal time during germination is likely to result in wide fluctuations in seedling occurrences from year to year (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2004). The poppy is an early successional species, but the optimal type and amount of disturbance for maintenance of populations are not clearly understood.

Unlike seedlings, established poppy plants appear to be capable of weathering periods of drought by becoming dormant. Adult plants have deep tap roots that can access water below the surface. Subsurface water likely supports plants through dry periods and allows them to develop a stem and even reproduce during brief periods without precipitation (U.S. Fish and Wildlife 2013).

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2004. Final biological opinion: proposed reauthorization of livestock grazing on the Sacramento Grazing Allotment, Sacramento Ranger District, Lincoln National Forest, New Mexico 2-22-00-F-473. New Mexico Ecological Services Field Office, Albuquerque, New Mexico. February 4, 2004. 83 pp. with attachment.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.  2013.  Sacramento Prickly Poppy (Argemone pleiacantha ssp. pinnatisecta) 5-Year Review.  Albuquerque, NM.  45 pp.

Geography

Characteristics
Range

The species’ known historical range covered 13 canyons in 8 canyon systems of the Lincoln National Forest (U.S. Fish and Wildlife 2013). Populations existed in Fresnal Canyon, including Salado and La Luz canyons; Dry Canyon; Marble Canyon; Alamo Canyon, including Caballero, Gordon, and Deadman canyons; Mule Canyon; San Andres Canyon; Dog Canyon; and Escondido Canyon. Currently, poppies are known to be extant in 11 of these canyons. The poppy is thought to be extirpated from Dry and Mule canyons (U.S. Fish and Wildlife 1994, 2012a; Tonne 2008). In 2009, adult poppies were found in Marble Canyon, and approximately 10 plants were also found in Gordon Canyon, a small tributary to Alamo Canyon (U.S. Forest Service 2010; U.S. Fish and Wildlife 2012a). In 2010, five adult plants were rediscovered occupying Escondido Canyon (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2012b). The species is also known to occur on Bureau of Land Management lands, private lands, Oliver Lee State Park, and on State of New Mexico and City of Alamogordo rights-of-way. The entire range is estimated to be 230 square kilometers (90 square miles) (U.S. Fish and Wildlife 1994).

Tonne, P. 2008. Results of Sacramento Prickly Poppy Studies, Surveys, and Monitoring, 2006-2008. Progress Report (Section 6 Segment 13) to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Natural Heritage New Mexico. Albuquerque, New Mexico. 53 pp.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1994. Sacramento Prickly Poppy (Argemone pleiacantha ssp. pinnatisecta) Recovery Plan. Albuquerque, New Mexico. 42 pp.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2012a. Report to Congress on the Recovery of Threatened and Endangered Species Fiscal Years 2009-2010. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Endangered Species Program, www. fws.gov/endangered, Arlington, Va. January 2012. 47 pp.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2012b. Reauthorization of continued livestock grazing on the Sacramento and Dry Canyon Allotments, located on the Lincoln National Forest,

Otero County, New Mexico. Cons. # 22420-2000-F-473. New Mexico Ecological Services Field Office, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 77 pp.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.  2013.  Sacramento Prickly Poppy (Argemone pleiacantha ssp. pinnatisecta) 5-Year Review.  Albuquerque, NM.  45 pp.

U.S. Forest Service. 2010. Letter from Gary K. Ziehe to Wally Murphy responding to the August 26, 2009, New Mexico Ecological Services Field Office letter; supplemental information to the Biological Assessment for the Sacramento Grazing Allotment. Lincoln National Forest, Otero County, New Mexico. March 17, 2010. 9 pp. with botany notes.

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