YELLOW HORNED-POPPY

SEA POPPY

Glaucium flavum

Poppy Family [Papaveraceae]  

month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8Aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZnative
 
flower
flower8yellow
 
inner
inner8orange
 
morph
morph8actino
 
petals
petalsZ4
 
stem
stem8round
 
stem
stem8milkysap stem8milkylatex
yellow
toxicity
toxicityZhigh
 

6th July 2006, Shingle beach near Little Ormes Head, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
The typical untidy sprawl of the plant with preposterously long seed pods.


Mid June, 2012, coast, Kent. Photo: © Barney Case
A recently established plant has stem hairs, which older plants lose.An un-opened flower bud on the left. The whole plant covered sparsely in long white hairs. the whole plant whitish green apart from the yellow flower.


6th July 2006, Shingle beach near Little Ormes Head, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
The long seed pods start growing from the centre of the flower.


6th July 2006, Shingle beach near Little Ormes Head, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
They grow up to a foot long, the longest seed pods of any plant.


6th July 2006, Shingle beach near Little Ormes Head, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
Older plants lose their hairiness, but the leaves remain greyish green.


31st May 2007, Walney Island (north), Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Growing next to Hound's-tongue (above) near the sea, leaves still un-furling.


6th July 2006, Shingle beach near Little Ormes Head, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
The flowers have four deep yellow petals and dozens of golden-yellow stamens with anthers surrounding a green stigma.


16th June 2009, coast beside Little Orme, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
Seed pod growing in middle of a plethora of deep-yellow stamens with golden yellow anthers.


16th June 2009, coast beside Little Orme, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
The tip of the stigma is fertilised by accepted pollen before starting to extend into a very long seed pod.


2nd July 2011, strandline, Hightown, sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
An as-yet un-opened flower pod, with long white conical hairs.


16th June 2009, coast beside Little Orme, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
This rather short seed pod still has a few stamens attached and is covered in small 'blips'(papillae). The far end may be splitting releasing the seed?


2nd July 2011, strandline, Hightown, sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The junction of the flower stem with the seed pod showing the papillose seed pod.


2nd July 2011, strandline, Hightown, sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
At risk of poisoning himself your Author broke a seed pod and peeled it back on one side to reveal the numerous seeds all along the inner of the enormous length of the pod.


6th Sept 2016, the brick beach, Hightown, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The seeds are packed in along two opposite rows, separated by a partition. Only one row is visible here, the other row is on the other side. The seeds appear to be surrounded by a pithy tissue to protect and perhaps nurture them.


6th July 2006, Shingle beach near Little Ormes Head, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
The basal rosette of leaves of a young plant are covered in silvery grey hairs.


31st May 2007, Walney Island, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
As is the stalk.


31st May 2007, Walney Island, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Silvery grey hairy leaves.


2nd July 2011, strandline, Hightown, sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The well-spaced long white hairs on the leaves. Two flower-stalks extend downwards, further along of which (off-photo) are their elongated seed pods.


The basal leaves of young plants have similarities to : Prickly Saltwort. Some similarities to : Greater Celandine in that it has large yellow flowers and glaucous green foliage, but Yellow-horned Poppy grows next the sea.

The leaves are glaucous-green and wavy and similar to those of another seaside plant Sea Kale but that has white flowers and almost spherical seed pods.

Uniquely identifiable characteristics : No other plant quite looks like this one.

Distinguishing Feature : Grows on shingle beaches above low tide, is greyish green with yellow poppy-like flowers, and preposterously long curved seed pods (the 'horns').

The large yellow flowers are reminiscent of those of Courgette (Cucurbita pep) but those have but five petals that are pointed.

In their first year, the plant just has a basal rosette of hairy greyish-green pinnately-lobed leaves. In the second year the plant grows further, producing encompassing glaucous greyish green leaves without hairs, and flowers in the form of a yellow poppy. The flower, later in the year, sprouts an enormously long seed pod from the centre, which when ripened, splits lengthways to yield the seeds.

It is salt-tolerant, and grows almost exclusively on shingle beaches washed by the high tide, hardly ever on sand. The stems, if broken, ooze a milky yellow sap. Like all poppies, it is toxic.

The coastal shingle plants Sea Kale (Crambe maritima) Yellow-hormed Poppy (Glaucium flavum) and Rock Samphire (Crithmum maritimum) are thermophilous, growing well and increasing in numbers with warmer summers.


It contains the aporphine group alkaloid Glaucine which is the main alkaloid within Yellow-horned Poppy but which is also found in several other Poppy species and has bronchodilatory and anti-inflammatory effects. Glaucine is used medicinally in some countries but one of the side effects are chromatic hallucinations. This makes it a target as a recreational drug. Several other minor alkaloids have been found in this plant which are thought to be produced from Glaucine by oxidation processes within the plant. Such alkaloids as Pontevedrine, O-MethylAtheroline and Sinoacutine plus the recently discovered aporphine alkaloid Corunnine aka Glauvine. Barberry has a greater collection of Aporphine group alkaloids.

[Glaucine should not be confused with the Amino Acid Glycine].




The above are oxidation products of Glaucine, with the possible exception of Sinoacutine, which has a re-arranged nitrogen-containing ring and is possibly the more toxic because it is polycyclic and spans another ring making for a forced 3-dimensional structure. All four have at least one ketone (=O) group.


  Glaucium flavum  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Papaveraceae  

Distribution
family8Poppy family8Papaveraceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Glaucium
Glaucium
(Horned-poppies)

YELLOW HORNED-POPPY

SEA POPPY

Glaucium flavum

Poppy Family [Papaveraceae]  

WildFlowerFinder Homepage