Argemone mexicana
Mexican Poppy, Prickly Poppy
Sold out for now
Type/Hardiness Annual, Wildflower, Hardy
Flowering period Summer-Early autumn
Height 12-18in/30-45cm
Light preference Full sun
Soil preference Dry, light
Sowing time/depth Autumn, Spring, 0.1in/3mm
This unusual and attractive late-flowering plant with distinctive vareigated and prickly leaves is drought tolerant. The poppy-like, papery lemon-yellow blooms have red-orange centres and are a welcome sight at a time of year when other flowers are saying their goodbyes. Watch out! All parts of the plant are, true to its common name, very prickly! So handle with care.
Sowing and/or growing instructions
In my experience this plant resents being disturbed, so best sown thinly in situ, in light or sandy soil, either in the autumn or spring. Germination takes about 14 days once temperature is optimal. I have noticed that when self-seeded this usually occurs late spring to early summer, with flowering in late summer to mid autumn, so late spring sowing should succeed. Alternatively, sow singly in small pots or 2-inch modules under cover in early spring and try to avoid disturbing the root system when planting out. Plants produced in this manner tend to be considerably larger.
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