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(Argemone ochroleuca subsp. ochroleuca, fam. Papaveraceae)

Argemone ochroleuca subsp. ochroleuca Argemone ochroleuca subsp. ochroleuca Argemone ochroleuca subsp. ochroleuca Argemone ochroleuca subsp. ochroleuca Argemone ochroleuca subsp. ochroleuca
Prickly, thistle-like erect annual herb to 1m, stems pithy and covered with yellow prickles; yellow milky sap
Form or habit: Herb
Leaf:Simple Basal

A basal rosette when young, becoming alternate; margins wavy, deeply lobed and irregularly toothed with course spines at the tips; conspicuously bluish and blotched with white, 100-200mm long.

Flower conspicuous: Conspicuous
Flower colour: Pale yellow
Flower description:6-petalled, 30-70mm diameter, borne individually at ends of small branches.
Fruit conspicuous: Conspicuous
Fruit colour: Brown
Fruit: Dry
Fruit description: Spiny capsules, narrowly ovoid 25 x 10-18mm, filled with numerous brown or black globular seeds, 1.5mm in diameter, shed at maturity through valves at the top of the capsules.
Food source for:
Toxicity:Toxic if ingested,Irritant sap,Toxic or irritant to domestic pets,Toxic to native animals
Origin:Americas and West Indies
Weed status:Environmental/garden escapee
Notes:Spread by: Seeds spread by gravity, water or contaminated soil on vehicles and stock; plants breaks off at base and are blown long distances helping to spread seed.
Invades/threats: Seasonal watercourses, disturbed areas. Competes with native species.
Notes: Another species of Mexican or Prickly Poppy (A. mexicana) is very similar but apparently rarely occurs in this area. It has bright yellow flowers; usually greener leaves and its buds are sub-spherical as opposed to oblong in A. ochroleuca subsp. ochroleuca.
Mexican Poppies can cause injury due to their spiny nature; all parts reported to be toxic; can contaminate hay and pasture seed.
Information sources: Mackay Regional Pest Management Group (2011) Weeds of the Mackay Whitsunday Region.

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