The green links below add additional plants to the comparison table. Blue links lead to other Web sites.
enable glossary links

Mexican poppy, Mexican prickly-poppy, yellow pricklypoppy

Habit Plants annual.

often branching from base, 2.5-8 dm, unarmed or sparingly prickly.


blades: surfaces unarmed or sparingly prickly on veins;

proximal lobed 1/2 or more distance to midrib;

distal more shallowly lobed, mostly clasping.


buds subglobose, body 10-15 × 9-13 mm, unarmed or sparingly prickly;

sepal horns terete, 5-10 mm, unarmed.


4-7 cm broad, subtended by 1-2 foliaceous bracts;

petals bright yellow or rarely pale lemon yellow;

stamens 30-50;

filaments yellow;

pistil 4-6-carpellate.


oblong to broadly ellipsoid, 25-45 × 12-20 mm (including stigma and excluding prickles when present), unarmed or prickly, longest prickles 6-10 mm.


1.6-2 mm.


= 28.

Argemone mexicana

Phenology Flowering and fruiting spring–fall, or throughout year in tropics.
Habitat Waste places, often a weed of roadsides, dooryards, fallow fields
Elevation 0-1500 m (0-4900 ft)
from FNA
AL; CT; FL; GA; IL; IN; KS; LA; MA; MD; MI; MO; NC; NE; NJ; NY; PA; SC; TN; TX; VA; ON; Mexico; Central America; West Indies
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]

Argemone mexicana is probably native to southern Florida as well as the Caribbean islands and has been introduced along the coast of the United States from New England to Texas and, more infrequently, inland. Although it has been reported from Mississippi, no specimens are known. It is widespread in temperate and tropical regions around the world by introduction.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Source FNA vol. 3.
Parent taxa Papaveraceae > Argemone
Sibling taxa
A. aenea, A. albiflora, A. arizonica, A. aurantiaca, A. chisosensis, A. corymbosa, A. gracilenta, A. hispida, A. munita, A. ochroleuca, A. pleiacantha, A. polyanthemos, A. sanguinea, A. squarrosa
Synonyms A. leiocarpa
Name authority Linnaeus: Sp. Pl. 1: 508. (1753)
Web links