Glaucium flavum

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Yellow hornpoppy
Glaucium flavum 2015-06-16 442.JPG
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Papaveraceae
Genus: Glaucium
G. flavum
Binomial name
Glaucium flavum
  • Chelidonium fulvum Poir.
  • Chelidonium glaucium L.
  • Chelidonium glaucum Hill
  • Chelidonium littorale Salisb.
  • Glaucium corniculatum var. braunianum Kuntze
  • Glaucium corniculatum var. flavum (Crantz) Kuntze
  • Glaucium corniculatum var. fulvum (Sm.) Kuntze
  • Glaucium corniculatum f. grandiflorum Kuntze
  • Glaucium corniculatum var. mauritanicum Kuntze
  • Glaucium corniculatum f. sublobatum Kuntze
  • Glaucium corniculatum var. tricolor (Godr.) Kuntze
  • Glaucium fischeri Bernh.
  • Glaucium flavum var. fulvum (Sm.) Fedde
  • Glaucium flavum f. obtusilobum Fedde
  • Glaucium flavum var. plenum Halácsy
  • Glaucium flavum var. serpieri (Heldr.) Halácsy
  • Glaucium flavum f. subleiocarpum Kuzmanov & Gegova
  • Glaucium fulvum Sm.
  • Glaucium glaucium (L.) H.Karst. [Invalid]
  • Glaucium glaucum Moench
  • Glaucium littorale Salisb.
  • Glaucium luteum Crantz [Illegitimate]
  • Glaucium luteum Scop.
  • Glaucium luteum var. glabratum Willk. & Lange
  • Glaucium luteum var. vestitum Willk. & Lange
  • Glaucium maculatum Szov.
  • Glaucium richardsonii Bernh. ex Fedde
  • Glaucium serpieri Heldr.
  • Glaucium tricolor Godr. [Illegitimate]
  • Papaver cornutum Garsault [Invalid]
Glaucium flavumMHNT

Glaucium flavum (yellow hornpoppy, sea-poppy or yellow horned poppy) is a summer flowering plant in the Papaveraceae family. It is native to Northern Africa, Macaronesia, temperate zones in Western Asia and the Caucasus, as well as Europe. The plant grows on the seashore and is never found inland. All parts of the plant, including the seeds, are toxic. It is classed as a noxious weed in some areas of North America, where it is an introduced species. It is grown in gardens as a short-lived perennial but usually grown as a biennial.


It has thick, leathery deeply segmented, wavy, bluish-grey leaves, which are coated in a layer of water-retaining wax. The sepal, petals and stamen have a similar structure and form to the red poppy (Papaver rhoeas), except the sepals are not hairy.[2] It grows up to 30–90 cm (1–3 ft) tall,[3] on branched, grey stems. It blooms in summer,[4] between June and October.[3][5] It has bright yellow or orange flowers,[4] that are 7.5 cm (3 in) across.[3] Later it produces a very long, upright,[4] thin,[3] distinctive horn shaped capsule, which is 15–30 cm (6–12 in) long. It is divided into two chambers,[2] which split open to reveal the seeds.[3]


It was first published and described by Heinrich Johann Nepomuk von Crantz in 'Stirp. Austr. Fasc.' (Stirpium Austriarum) vol.2 on page 131 in 1763.[1][6] The species epithet flavum is Latin for yellow and indicates its flower colour.[7]

It is commonly known as sea-poppy,[8] horned-poppy, and yellow horned-poppy.[9]

G. flavum was verified by United States Department of Agriculture and the Agricultural Research Service on 25 May 1995, then updated on 9 May 2011,[9] and is an accepted name by the Royal Horticultural Society.[4]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

It is native to temperate regions of North Africa, Europe and parts of Western Asia.[9][10]


Glaucium flavum growing in sand in Spain

It is found in North Africa, within Macaronesia, Canary Islands, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia and Morocco. Within Western Asia it is found in the Caucasus, Georgia, Cyprus, Egypt (in the Sinai), Lebanon, Syria and Turkey. In eastern Europe, it is found within Ukraine. In middle Europe, it is in Belgium, Germany, Netherlands and Slovakia. In northern Europe, in Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Sweden and United Kingdom. In southeastern Europe, within Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania and Slovenia. Also in southwestern Europe, it is found in France, Portugal and Spain.[9]


It grows on shingle banks and beaches,[5] but can also be found on cliff tops and in sand dunes.[3]


It produces an orange foul smelling sap, if cut open.[3] All parts of the plant, including the seeds, are toxic, and can cause a wide range of symptoms including brain damage (if eaten),[3] and respiratory failure, resulting in death.[11] It is listed of the FDA Poisonous Plant Database since 1959.[12]


In the past, it was known in Hampshire, UK as 'squatmore', and the roots were used to treat bruises.[3] Also pains in the breast, stomach and intestines.[8]


It is referenced in various poems;

A poppy grows upon the shore,

Bursts her twin cups in summer late:

Her leaves are glaucus-green and hoar,

Her petals yellow, delicate.

She has no lovers like the red,

That dances with the noble corn:

Her blossoms on the waves are shed,

Where she stands shivering and forlorn.
Shorter Poems Robert Bridges.[13]

Sea Poppies: Amber husk fluted with gold, fruit on the sand marked with a rich grain,

treasure spilled near the shrub-pines to bleach on the boulders:

your stalk has caught root among wet pebbles and drift flung by the sea and grated shells and split conch-shells.

Beautiful, widespread, fire upon leaf, what meadow yields so fragrant a leaf as your bright leaf?



Glaucine is the main alkaloid component in Glaucium flavum.[15] Glaucine has bronchodilator and antiinflammatory effects, acting as a PDE4 inhibitor and calcium channel blocker,[16] and is used medically as an antitussive in some countries.[17] Glaucine may produce side effects such as sedation, fatigue, and a hallucinogenic effect characterised by colourful visual images,[18][19] and as a recreational drug.[20] For a detailed bibliography on Glaucine and Glaucium flavum see: National Agricultural Library.[21] (Glaucium flavum entry)


  1. ^ a b "Glaucium flavum Crantz is an accepted name". 23 March 2012. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  2. ^ a b L. J. F. Brimble (1947). Flowers in Britain. London: Macmillan and Co. p. 54.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Reader's Digest Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of Britain. Reader's Digest. 1981. p. 31. ISBN 978-0-276-00217-5.
  4. ^ a b c d "Glaucium flavum". Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Yellow horned-poppy Glucium flavum". Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  6. ^ "Papaveraceae Glaucium flavum Crantz". Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  7. ^ Archibald William Smith A Gardener's Handbook of Plant Names: Their Meanings and Origins, p. 258, at Google Books
  8. ^ a b W. T. Fernie Herbal Simples: Approved for Modern Uses of Cure (1897), p. 441, at Google Books
  9. ^ a b c d "Taxon: Glaucium flavum Crantz". Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  10. ^ Hassler, M. (September 2017). "Accepted scientific name: Glaucium flavum Crantz (accepted name)". Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  11. ^ Cooper, M. R. & A. W. Johnson. 1998. Poisonous plants and fungi in Britain: animal and human poisoning. (Cooper & Johnson ed.2)
  12. ^ "id 25494". Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  13. ^ "The shorter poems of Robert Bridges (1890)". Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  14. ^ "Sea Poppies". Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  15. ^ G.B. Lapa; O.P. Sheichenko; A.G. Serezhechkin; O.N. Tolkachev (August 2004). "HPLC Determination of Glaucine in Yellow Horn Poppy Grass (Glaucium flavum Crantz)". Pharmaceutical Chemistry Journal. 38 (1): 441–442. doi:10.1023/B:PHAC.0000048907.58847.c6. ISSN 0091-150X. Retrieved 14 June 2009. S-(+)-Glaucine (C21H25NO4) is the main alkaloid component in the grass of yellow horn poppy (Glaucium luteum L., syn. Glaucium flavum Crantz) of the Papaveraceae family
  16. ^ Cortijo J, Villagrasa V, Pons R, Berto L, Martí-Cabrera M, Martinez-Losa M, Domenech T, Beleta J, Morcillo EJ. Bronchodilator and anti-inflammatory activities of glaucine: In vitro studies in human airway smooth muscle and polymorphonuclear leukocytes. British Journal of Pharmacology. 1999 Aug;127(7):1641-51. PMID 10455321
  17. ^ Rühle KH, Criscuolo D, Dieterich HA, Köhler D, Riedel G. Objective evaluation of dextromethorphan and glaucine as antitussive agents. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 1984 May;17(5):521-4. PMID 6375709
  18. ^ Rovinskiĭ VI. A case of hallucinogen-like action of glaucine. (Russian). Klinicheskaia Meditsina (Mosk). 1989 Sep;67(9):107-8. PMID 2586025
  19. ^ Rovinskiĭ VI. Acute glaucine syndrome in the physician's practice: the clinical picture and potential danger. (Russian). Klinicheskaia Meditsina (Mosk). 2006;84(11):68-70. PMID 17243616
  20. ^ Dargan PI, Button J, Hawkins L, Archer JR, Ovaska H, Lidder S, Ramsey J, Holt DW, Wood DM. Detection of the pharmaceutical agent glaucine as a recreational drug. European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 2008 May;64(5):553-4. PMID 18204834
  21. ^ "NAL Catalog (AGRICOLA): Titles".

Other source[edit]

  • Pink, A. (2004). Gardening for the Million. Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation.
  • Aldén, B., S. Ryman, & M. Hjertson Svensk Kulturväxtdatabas,
  • Boulos, L. Flora of Egypt checklist. 1995 (L Egypt)
  • Cooper, M. R. & A. W. Johnson Poisonous plants and fungi in Britain: animal and human poisoning. 1998 (Cooper & Johnson ed2)
  • Davis, P. H., ed. Flora of Turkey and the east Aegean islands. 1965–1988 (F Turk)
  • Farnsworth, N. R. & D. D. Soejarto Global importance of medicinal plants (unpublished draft manuscript rev. 23, 1988) (Import Medicinal Pl)
  • Gleason, H. A. & A. Cronquist Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada, ed. 2. 1991 (Glea Cron ed2)
  • Greuter, W. et al., eds. Med-Checklist. 1984- (L Medit)
  • Grey-Wilson, C. Poppies: The poppy family in the wild and in cultivation. 1993 (Poppies) 41.
  • Groth, D. 2005. pers. comm. (pers. comm.)
  • Hansen, A. & P. Sunding Flora of Macaronesia: checklist of vascular plants, ed. 4. Sommerfeltia vol. 17. 1993 (L Macar ed4)
  • Holm, L. et al. A geographical atlas of world weeds. 1979 (Atlas WWeed)
  • Izquierdo Z., I. et al., eds. Lista de especies silvestres de Canarias: hongos, plantas y animales terrestres. 2004 (L Canarias)
  • Janick, J. & J. Simon, eds. Advances in new crops. 1990 (Adv New Crops)
  • Kartesz, J. T. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 1994 (L US Can ed2)
  • Komarov, V. L. et al., eds. Flora SSSR. 1934–1964 (F USSR)
  • Lazarides, M. & B. Hince CSIRO Handbook of Economic Plants of Australia. 1993 (Econ Pl Aust)
  • Mabberley, D. J. The plant-book: a portable dictionary of the vascular plants, ed. 2. 1997 (Pl Book)
  • Mouterde, P. Nouvelle flore du Liban et de la Syrie. 1966- (F Liban)
  • Personal Care Products Council International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient (INCI)
  • Tutin, T. G. et al., eds. Flora europaea, second edition. 1993 (F Eur ed2)
  • Wiersema, J. H. & B. León World economic plants: a standard reference (on-line edition) [medicinal plants only]. (World Econ Pl Med)
  • Zohary, M. & N. Feinbrun-Dothan Flora palaestina. 1966- (F Palest)

External links[edit]

Media related to Glaucium flavum at Wikimedia Commons