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Canbya aurea

golden canbya, golden pygmypoppy, yellow pygmy-poppy

canbya, pygmy-poppy

Habit Plants 1-2 cm. Herbs, annual, semiacaulescent, very small, glabrous, from taproots; sap clear.

branching at and just above ground level, leafy, branches short.


3-10 mm.

alternate, congested in tufts, sessile;

blade unlobed, linear-oblong, fleshy, margins entire.


peduncle 1-6 cm.

axillary, 1-flowered, much exceeding leaves;

peduncle slender.


sepals 2 mm;

petals deciduous, 6, bright yellow, broadly ovate, 3-4 mm;

stamens 6-15;

filaments longer than anthers.

sepals 3, distinct;

petals 5-7;

stamens 6-15;

pistil 3-4-carpellate;

ovary ovoid, 1-locular;

style absent;

stigmas 3(-4), linear, radiate-recurved, appressed or adherent to ovary.


2-4 mm.

erect, ovoid to oblong-ovoid, 3(-4)-valved, dehiscing from apex.


many, brown, oblong-obovoid to ellipsoid, slightly arcuate, 0.6-0.8 mm, glossy, aril absent.


= 8.


= 16.

Canbya aurea


Phenology Flowering Apr–Jul.
Habitat Dry, sandy ground, usually with sagebrush
Elevation 900-1700 m (3000-5600 ft)
from FNA
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from USDA
w United States
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Species 2 (2 in the flora).

These diminutive (but handsome) desert endemics are among the smallest plants in the family. Little is known about their life histories, reproduction, ecological interactions, or evolutionary histories, and they merit more field and laboratory study.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

1. Petals white, marcescent; filaments shorter than anthers.
C. candida
1. Petals bright yellow, deciduous; filaments longer than anthers.
C. aurea
Source FNA vol. 3. FNA vol. 3. Authors: Curtis Clark, Robert W. Kiger.
Parent taxa Papaveraceae > Canbya Papaveraceae
Sibling taxa
C. candida
Subordinate taxa
C. aurea, C. candida
Name authority S. Watson: Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts 21: 445. (1886) Parry ex A. Gray: Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts 12: 51, plate 1. (1876)
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