Stylophorum diphyllum

Yellow poppy mostly escaped from cultivation

Stylophorum diphyllum wood poppy

Plant grows in the wild/spontaneouslyPlant is native to PA

This native perennial species is a member of the poppy family. The plant has basal leaves and a pair of pale, deeply lobed stem leaves with a whitish bloom on the underside. Both types of leavs are about 6 inches long and 4 inches wide and lobed. The stem leaves have long petioles - about 4 inches. The stem is heavily haired. The sap of the plant consists of yellow orange colored latex that is toxic to most animals.

The flowers have four fragile, round petals. There are 2 sepals, but they fall off early. There are many orange-colored stamens. The flowers grow singly or in small clusters at the end of the stems. The flowers can be 1.25 to 2.5 inches in diameter. The flowers are similar in appearance but larger than those of celandine (Chelidonium majus), an introduced species from Europe. Normally the flowers are pollinated by insects, but can self-pollinate. The flower only provides pollen as a reward to these insects.

The fruit is an ovoid pod, covered with fine hairs. It splits open to release a number of seeds. The dark brown seeds are covered with a light fringe of oil bodies called Elaisome along one side. This entices ants to distribute the seeds. New plants may also grow from rhizomes.

The plant grows 10-16 inches tall, mostly in damp wooded areas with dappled sunlight. Its natural range is mostly west of the mountains, from Western Pennsylvania to Wisconsin and south to northern Georgia and Alabama. The blooming period is March to early June. It is also called the yellow poppy. The USDA only documents the plant in Butler County in Western, Pennsylvania, so reports of it growing elsewhere would be of interest. I did see it growing at McConnell's Mill State Park in Lawrence County, but it was probably planted there.

Contributed by: Mark Welchley

Mostly escaped from cultivation and naturalized.

Wetland code: Not classified

Flowers April & May.

Stylophorum diphyllum wood poppy

Plant grows in the wild/spontaneouslyPlant is native to PA
Stylophorum diphyllum gallery
Common Names
wood poppy celandine poppy