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Mexican poppy

Mex poppy1

Mex poppy2

Mex poppy3

A. ochroleuca1

A. ochroleuca seed pods

Mexican poppy flower

Mexican poppy rosette

 


BOTANICAL NAME:

Argemone mexicana


Family:

Papaveraceae (poppies)

Status:

Mexican poppy is declared noxious in class 5 throughout NSW.

Description

Mexican poppy is an erect, spreading annual herb with grey-green, deeply lobed leaves to 12cm long, usually with silvery spines at the tips of the lobes. The yellow poppy flowers are 4-7cm across and produced in summer. They are usually deep yellow but occasionally pale lemon yellow. The green seed capsule is usually prickly but may sometimes lack prickles. The plant is quite attractive and might be used as a garden plant. The first three photos above are of this weed (provided by Forest & Kim Starr, USGS, Hawaii) and the rest are of the very similar and quite common weed Argemone ochroleuca (see under Look-alikes below).

Dispersal

Fine seed may spread by wind, but in contaminated soil is the more likely means of spread.

Look-alikes

There is a relatively common weed of waste ground, also called Mexican poppy (Argemone ochroleuca), which looks very similar. Its flowers are cream or pale yellow.

Control

It is not legal to propagate or sell Mexican poppy. Advise your local Council weed staff if you see anything which resembles this plant being offered for sale, or if you think you have an infestation.