White-flowered Mexican poppy

White-flowered Mexican poppy

Argemone ochroleuca subsp. ochroleuca (Papaveraceae)

Common Name:

White-flowered Mexican poppy

Scientific Name:

Argemone ochroleuca subsp. ochroleuca (Papaveraceae)


Alternative common names:

Devil’s fig; Texas poppy (English); Witblombloudissels (Afrikaans); ugudluthukela (isiZulu)

Description:

A very spiny annual herb growing up to 90cm high with stems that exude a yellow sap when cut. Grey or bluish-green spiny leaves with prominent white veins. Pale yellow or creamy white flowers appear from September to January. Spiny, oblong green fruit capsules turn 

Additional Information


Where does this species come from?

Mexico

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

Existing legislation: CARA 2002 - Category 1 NEMBA 2020 - Category 1b

Where does this species come from?

Mexico

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

Throughout South Africa

How does it spread?

Dispersal of small black seeds

Why is it a problem?

Prolific in disturbed sites and competes with agricultural crops and indigenous species. This plant contaminates crop seed and the spiny fruits and leaf tips can adhere to the wool of sheep. The seeds and parts of the plant are poisonous to humans and livestock.

What does it look like?

General description: A very spiny annual herb with sharp spiky leaves which are usually greyish blue in colour. The plant grows up to 90cm in height and produces white flowers and thorny green seed capsules which turn brown as it dries, thereafter splitting to release the seeds.
Leaves: Grey or bluish-green spiny leaves with prominent white veins.
Flowers: Pale yellow or creamy white flowers from September to January.
Fruit/seeds: Spiny, oblong green fruit capsules which turn brown and release numerous small black seeds.

Does the plant have any uses?

No, this plant is a noxious weed.

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