Mar. 9, 2019

Mexican prickly-poppy, Argemone mexicana

A lot of plants that populate old fields are grasses or plantains or others that don't offer much color. This prickly poppy is at the other extreme. These large bright flowers can be up to three inches across. But they come at a price, and are very toxic. Prickly-poppies have spread around the world, even to Fiji. An item in Wiki says the pods resemble mustard, which I don't see at all. Mustard pods are much narrower. It goes on to say that because of the resemblance, they can be accidentally mixed and cause poisoning of people that use mustard. I'm more skeptical and pessimistic. When it gets to the point that mustard bottles in India have to offer a guarantee of no Argemone, it seems at best carelessly deliberate. Mexican prickly-poppy has been reported from AL, AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, IL, IN, KS, LA, MA, MD, MI, MO, MS, NC, NE, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, MB, and ON. Polk Co FL, 3/16/16.