Herbs , annual, biennial, or perennial, caulescent, glaucous, from taproots; sap yellow. Stems leafy, sometimes becoming woody at base. Leaves: basal rosulate, petiolate; cauline alternate, sessile; blades 1-2× pinnately lobed [unlobed]. Inflorescences axillary or terminal, 1-flowered; bracts present. Flowers: sepals 2, distinct; petals 4; stamens many; pistil 2-carpellate; ovary 2-locular; style absent or indistinct; stigma 2-lobed. Capsules erect, 2-valved, dehiscing from apex [base]. Seeds many, dark brown, reticulate-pitted, embedded in pithy septum, aril absent. x = 6.
Herbs, biennial or perennial, rarely annual, lactiferous. Taproot slender. Stems erect or ascending, terete, glabrous or villous. Basal leaves many, petiolate; leaf blade usually pinnatifid; lobes ampliate to sheath at base, serrate or crenate at margin. Cauline leaves alternate, sessile, cordate-amplexicaul at base, incised or undulate at margin. Flowers solitary, terminal or axillary, usually long pedunculate, large. Sepals 2, caducous, glabrous or villous. Petals 4, convolute in bud, yellow, orange, or red. Stamens numerous. Ovary terete or linear, 2-carpellate, placentas 2-pseudo-loculed from cellular spongy septum connecting placentas; stigmas 2-divided, almost sessile. Capsule terete, slender, horned and often shortly tridentlike at apex, when mature divided into 2 narrow segments from apex to base or rarely from base to apex. Seeds many, ovoid-reniform, seed coat alveolate, not carunculate.
"Sep 2; pet 4, yellow; ovary cylindric, bilocular; stigmas sessile, 2-lobed; fr elongate, usually curved, bilocular, dehiscent from the top downward by elongate valves; herbs with saffron-colored juice, large, pinnately lobed lvs, and large, yellow fls terminating the branches or on leafy-bracted axillary peduncles. 20, Eurasia."