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Argemone mexicana

Argemone mexicana
Mexican prickly poppy
Prickly barrel-shaped seedpods developing
Argemone mexicana
Single volunteer seedling, blooming mid-April

Synonym(s) Argemone leiocarpa
Common name Mexican prickly poppy
Family papaveraceae
Life cycle annual or perennial (Z8-11)
Flowers yellow (spring)
Size 20"
Light sun
Cultural notes well drained soil; drought-tolerant

Wildflower, usually annual, whose deeply cut spined leaves are gray-green with whitish veins. Papery yellow flowers appear in spring. Occurs naturally in the southern and southeastern US. Ours didn't act like annuals when I first started them in late winter – they stayed small throughout their first year, then shot up in early spring of year two, blooming by mid-March, and setting seed by late April. But in subsequent years, self-seeded plants have managed to complete their life cycle within a season.
The dried seedpods are hellish to handle, covered with small, loosely attached prickles that desire to embed themselves in tender fingers.

Mexican prickly poppy
Plenty of seedlings popping up in early May 2022

In our garden, this plant grows in the following area: left fence border

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Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from NARGS '18/'19 exchange. Baggy 70F (22%G, 10d)

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