Plant: Perennial rhizomatous herb; to 40 cm; roots often woody Leaves: leaves long-petioled, leaves narrow to broadly cuneate, subentire or deeply parted into 7(-9)-lobes, 2.2-5.3(-8) cm long (not including 3-10 cm long petiole), 4-7.7(-13.5) cm wide INFLORESCENCE: cymes, terminal, few-flowered Flowers: 4.3-6 cm long, 4.5-6.4 cm wide; sepals puberulent; petals yellow or salmon-orange to salmon-maroon, with deep maroon basal spots; anthers all dark maroon or only the lower set dark maroon; ovary densely puberulent-papillose Fruit: capsules broadly ovoid, not noticeably striated longitudinally, 2-3.6 cm long, 2-2.6 cm wide, short-acuminate, puberulent; SEEDS reniform, black, shiny, 5.3 mm long, 3.3 mm wide; seed coat light brown, strigillose, closely fitting and persistent Misc: Dry rocky slopes and mesas; 800-1500 m (2600-4900 ft); Jul-Sep REFERENCES: Hodgson, Wendy. 1994. Bixaceae. J. Ariz. - Nev. Acad. Sci. Volume 27, 188-189.
Hodgson 1993, Martin and Hutchins 1980
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Herbaceous perennial from fusiform tuberous rootstock, stems 1 to several, erect 25-35 cm tall, stipules linear-subulate, 4-7 mm long. Leaves: Alternate, narrow to broadly cuneate, 7-9 lobed, lobes to 2 cm wide, coarsely serrate, rounded or obtuse at apex. Flowers: Sepals narrowly lanceolate, acute or somewhat attenuate, 15-20 mm long; petals orange-yellow with 1-2 maroon spots at base of each, 2.5-3 long; anthers all dark maroon or only lower set dark maroon, ovary densely puberulent papillose. Fruits: Ovoid capsule, 3-4 cm long, pendant, weakly striate longitudinally, 2-2.5 cm wide, finely and sparsely puberulent and with scattered, sessile, reddish glands intermingled with fine crisped hairs. Ecology: Found on dry rocky slopes and mesas from 2,500-5,000 ft (762-1676 m); flowers July-September. Distribution: s AZ; south to c S. Amer. Notes: A showy, charismatic and distinct species with palmate leaves with wavy to deeply-lobed margined leaflets; the flowers and fruits also don-t resemble other species in the area. Alternate species A. gonzalezii is separated from A. palmatifida by its ellipsoid capsule, silky ovary, and lower set of cream-colored anthers as opposed to dark maroon. Howard Gentry reported that this plant yields lots of seed, but it is difficult to grow. Ethnobotany: All parts of the plants were used as food, including roots, young leaves, flowers, fruits and seeds. Etymology: Amoreuxia is named for P.J. Amoreux (1740-1824) a French naturalist, while palmatifida means palmately divided. Synonyms: None Editor: SBuckley 2010, FSCoburn 2015