Arizona poppy, Mexican poppy and summer poppy are some of the common names for the beautiful annual wildflower Kallstroemia grandiflora. The common names are pretty easy to understand as the flower sure looks like a poppy, but when I went to pull apart the Latinized botanical name I came across, “in honor of Kallstroem, obscure contemporary of Scopoli.” Whaa? Well, Giovanni Scopoli was an Italian physician and naturalist of the 1700’s and he is given credit for the genus name after his obscure friend. Now we know and I doubt it will ever come up again. Kallstroemia is not a poppy despite the flower resemblance, but an annual in the Caltrop Family, Zygophyllaceae, and it has been quite a nice year for this wildflower and it’s still blooming as the monsoon rains wane.
Goat head, bull head and puncture vine are some of the common names for the plant Tribulus terrestris. I think it is safe to say that no matter the common name used, it is always preceded by an expletive or two. What a varmint!
A couple notes: the photos are mine. Kallstroemia grandiflora is an annual from seed every year…well, in good rainy summers, and I’ve never seen the seed sold separately, but have seen it in wildflower seed mixes, which is cool. A seed company in Tucson called Wildlands Restoration has it in a seed mix called Old Town Tucson Wildflowers. And, by the way, fall is a very good time to be spreading and planting native wildflower mixes. Now you know.