This frail looking but hardy poppy favors arctic and alpine zones in Europe, North America, and Asia. They are fairly common in their range, growing in meadows as well as well-drained gravelly soils. The arctic poppy’s northern range limit, a latitude of 83°40’N on Kaffeklubben Island, exceeds that of nearly all plants worldwide.
Plants: Plants are loosely to densely tufted, with tufts up to 6" (15 cm) around.
Flowers: Pale yellow to white flowers up to 2½" (6.5 cm) in diameter appear atop hairy stems 4-6" (10-15 cm) long. Rarely the flowers are pink-tinged, or even brick red. Each flower contains 4-7 yellow stigmas, surrounded by a spray of yellow anthers. The parabolic shape of the flower petals focuses heat toward the center of each flower, a benefit to their pollinators, which include the Arctic bumblebee.
Fruits: Seed pods vary from spherical to elongated oval in shape. They are covered with fine hairs (trichomes).
Papaver radicatum on botanyphoto.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca
Papaver radicatum at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Papaver radicatum on eFloras
Papaver radicatum on the USDA Plants Database
Papaver radicatum description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.