Yellow Horned-poppy Glaucium flavum Crantz.

  click on arrow to close window - click on pictures below for larger images 
Yellow Horned-poppy

Overwintering rosette

Colony at Rye NR
The Yellow Horned-poppy is a typical colonising plant of bare shingle. Plants flower from their second year onwards and live for between 2 and 5 years. Each individual plant produces one to several rosettes with a single flower stalk emeging from each. Although the large and beautiful  yellow flowers generally only last a day, flowering starts in mid-May and may last well into October. After the flower has dropped, a very long and curved seed-pod develops (said to be the longest seed-capsule of any British plant) which eventually splits lengthways to reveal 100s of small seeds.

The waxy leaves are greyish-green (glaucous) and covered with fine short hairs which protect the leaf surface from the salty conditions in which it lives. Each rosette of leaves and its flowering stem dies in the autumn and the plant overwinters as a rosette whose leaves are smaller and hairier than normal.  In this state it may well be mistaken for a different species by the casual observer.

Being generally restricted to shingle the Yellow Horned-poppy is a rare plant, although it may be locally abundant where it is found, forming impressive colonies. This plant is protected under the Wildlife & Countryside Act (1981) and must not be picked without permission from the landowner.
Back to top.

BAR logo