T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Glaucium flavum (Yellow horned poppy)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Papaveraceae
Genus: Glaucium
Species: G. flavum
Binomial name: Glaucium flavum
Synonym: Glaucium luteum
Common names: Yellow horned poppy, Horned Poppy, Sea poppy, Yellow hornpoppy,

Glaucium flavum (Yellow horned poppy) is an annual or perennial summer flowering herb originally fromW. Europe, Mediterranean, S.W. Asia. Its habitat is the seashore and is never found inland. It’s a frost hardy plant that withstands hot, dry conditions and thrives in poor soils. It is classed as a noxious weed in New Zealand where it competes with small native grasses and plants.
It has thick, leathery deeply segmented, wavy, bluish-grey leaves (up to 50 cm long x 10 cm wide) which are coated in a layer of water retaining wax and are hairy on both surfaces. The stems are also a bluish-green and are > 50 cm tall and have yellow latex. The bright yellow, four petalled, poppy like flowers (9 cm wide) develop during November to March. Prolific quantities of seeds are held in a distinctive long curved capsule some 15 to 30 cm in length. The seeds are spread by water.

All parts of the plant, including the seeds and the roots which are especially poisonous. The active principles are the alkaloids: glaucine, protopine,chelidonine, chelerythrine, cordydine and the acids: fumaric and chelidonic. These toxins can produce a range of symptoms. If small amounts are ingested the symptoms can be stomach ache, nausea or vomiting, thirstiness, dryness of the mouth, breathing difficulties, decreased of heart beat. In strong intoxications: mental confusion, numbness of the members, hypotension, respiratory failure resulting in death. It is also toxic to livestock.

  



The long seed capsule.