PRICKLY POPPY

Papaver argemone

Poppy Family [Papaveraceae]

month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july

status
statusZarchaeophyte
flower
flower8red
flower
flower8black
inner
inner8mauve
inner
inner8azure
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ4
stem
stem8round
stem
stem8milkysap stem8milkylatex
toxicity
toxicityZmedium
rarity
rarityZuncommon
sex
sexZbisexual

11th June 2014, Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
A short to medium height upright flower standing up to 45cm.


11th June 2014, Photo: © Bastiaan Brak


11th June 2014, Photo: © Bastiaan Brak


9th May 2007, Photo: © Bastiaan Brak


10th July 2012, arable field, Chessel, IoW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
The 4 petals are each between 15 to 25mm long and pale scarlet. The inner petal area appears sometimes has a blotchy black patch in the centre, which could well be dark indigo and looks like the dye has run along the veins of the petals.


10th July 2012, arable field, Chessel, IoW. Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
The stigma has between 4 to 6 rays, in this instance coloured cyan. The numerous anthers are sky bluish.


11th June 2014, Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
The seed capsules are ≤ 25mm long and obovoidal in shape with sparse but long bristly hairs, either appressed to the pod or upwardly spreading. The broken stems ooze a white, probably toxic, latex. The number of valves the capsules possess here varies from 4 to 6, and they run along the whole length of the pod. Top right pod has 6, that just below it only 4.


9th May 2007, Photo: © Bastiaan Brak
The seed pod with bristly hairs. The stem hairs below it are appressed.


Easily mistaken for : Rough Poppy (Papaver hybridum) [as of 2019 renamed (Roemeria hybrida)] but this has a yellow latex (rather than white) and the petals have a larger range in size (10-30mm, as opposed to 15 to 25 for Prickly Poppy); the anthers are yellow or violet and with fewer stigmas (only 3 to 4, as opposed to 4-6 for Prickly Poppy) and the capsule is much a longer 45-95mm long by 2 to 4mm wide and cylindrical (rather than ovoidal and ≤25mm for Prickly Poppy).

This plant used to occur all over the UK but it is now a rare [R] occurring mostly in arable fields on light soils in Central and Southern England.

ISOQUINOLINE ALKALOIDS


As far as your Author can ascertain it contains two toxic alkaloids - IsoRhoeadine and Rhoeagenine (aka Reagenine). These are present in the white sap (and probably elsewhere). Like Rhoeadine, these two compounds also have a similar skeleton structure replete with a 7-membered ring with a nitrogen atom in the ring as does that of Rhoeadine which is found in Common Poppy (Papaver rhoeas).

Rheagenine has the same structure as Rhoeadine except for the -O-CH3 being replaced by just -OH. IsoRhoeadine is simply a stereoisomer of the absent (from Prickly Poppy) Rhoeadine, as the name implies, both possess the -O-CH3 group, so your Author is feeling lazy today and isn't going to draw both stereoisomeric versions.


  Papaver argemone  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Papaveraceae  

Distribution
 family8Poppy family8Papaveraceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Papaver
Papaver
(Poppies)

PRICKLY POPPY

Papaver argemone

Poppy Family [Papaveraceae]