20 Aug 2018

Mexican Poppy – Wadi Talea

The Mexican Poppy Argemone mexicanais a species of poppy originally from Mexico but now widely naturalized around the world including Saudi Arabia. It is an extremely hardy pioneer plant that is tolerant of drought. It grows in sandy, well-drained soil preferring dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought but not shade. They grow up to 150 cm tall with its stem branched and usually extremely prickly. It exudes a yellow juice when cut and has showy yellow flowers. The leaves are thistle-like and alternate, without leaf stalks, toothed and the margins are spiny. The grey-white veins stand out against the bluish-green upper leaf surface. The stem is oblong in cross-section. The flowers are at the tips of the branches and solitary, yellow and of 2.5-5 cm diameter. This plant and many others were found growing in a normally wet area behind a dam wall in Wadi Talea near Abha in the Asir mountains of southwest Saudi Arabia.
Mexican Poppy

Mexican Poppy

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