Macleaya cordata

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Macleaya cordata
Macleaya cordata 2.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Papaveraceae
Genus: Macleaya
Species: M. cordata
Binomial name
Macleaya cordata
(Willd.) R.Br.

Bocconia cordata Willd.

Macleaya cordata, the five-seeded plume-poppy,[1] is a species of flowering plant in the poppy family Papaveraceae,[2] which is used ornamentally.[3] It is native to China and Japan. It is a large herbaceous perennial growing to 2.5 m (8 ft) tall by 1 m (3 ft) or more wide, with olive green leaves and airy panicles of buff-white flowers in summer.[4]


The Latin cordata means "heart-shaped", referring to the leaves.[5] The common name plume poppy is used for plants of the genus Macleaya. The Chinese name 博落回 (bóluòhúi) is derived from 簸邏迴 (bòluóhúi), the Northern Wei name of the instrument 大角 (dà jiǎo, "big horn"), for the tonal similarity between the playable hollow stem and the instrument.


It self-seeds readily and can be invasive, so in cultivation requires space. It is a popular subject for flower arranging.

M. × kewensis, bred at Kew Gardens, is a hybrid of M. cordata and M. microcarpa. The cultivar 'Flamingo' has pink tinged flowers, and has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[6]

Other uses[edit]

Macleaya cordata is a source of a variety of chemical compounds, mainly isoquinoline alkaloids. The seed oil contains dihydrosanguinarine, dihydrochelerythrine, and twelve fatty acids of which linoleic, oleic, palmitic and stearic acids predominate.[7]


  1. ^ "BSBI List 2007". Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-02-25. Retrieved 2014-10-17. 
  2. ^ "Macleaya cordata - (Willd.)R.Br.". Plants for a Future (PFAF). 
  3. ^ Pink, A. (2004). Gardening for the Million. Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation. 
  4. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964. 
  5. ^ Harrison, Lorraine (2012). RHS Latin for gardeners. United Kingdom: Mitchell Beazley. p. 224. ISBN 9781845337315. 
  6. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Macleaya × kewensis 'Flamingo'". Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  7. ^ Kosina, P.; Gregorova, J.; Gruz, J.; Vacek, J.; Kolar, M.; Vogel, M.; Roos, W.; Naumann, K.; Simanek, V.; Ulrichova, J. (2010). "Phytochemical and antimicrobial characterization of Macleaya cordata herb". Fitoterapia. 81 (8): 1006–1012. doi:10.1016/j.fitote.2010.06.020. PMID 20600683. 

External links[edit]