Argemone mexicana

Photographs belong to the photographers who allow use for FNPS purposes only. Please contact the photographer for all other uses.

Yellow Prickly-poppy


Plant Specifics

Size:to 3 ft tall by 1 ft wide
Life Span:Annual
Flower Color:Yellow
Fruit Color:Green
Phenology:Blooms late winter-early spring.
Noted for:Showy flowers, Thorns


Recommended Uses:Wildflower garden. Roadside wildflower areas. This plant blooms from late winter into spring displaying its large flowers when little else is blooming in the garden.
Considerations:Sharp thorn-like prickles cover most of the plant. Highly toxic.
Propagation:Seed can easily be gathered where this plant grows along roadsides. Throw it in open areas in the wildflower garden and expect it to self-seed in future years.
Light: Full Sun
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Somewhat moist, no flooding ----- to ----- Very long very dry periods)
Moisture Tolerance: Somewhat moist, no flooding ----- to ----- Very long very dry periods
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water.
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:Low/no tolerance of salty wind or direct salt spray
Soil or other substrate:Sand
Soil pH:Circum-neutral to calcareous.



Attracts pollinators including bees, flies, and beetles.  Documented bee species include  Apis mellifera (honeybee), Dialictus tegularis, and Halictus ligatus (Deyrup et al. 2002).

Native Habitats:Ruderal areas. Common on dry roadsides.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
10A 10B 8A 8B 9A 9B 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures


General Comments:

This is one of Florida's most showy and most under-appreciated wildflowers. Look for it along disturbed roadsides in mid-late winter and early spring.

This is a personal favorite of one of the authors -- it grows and bloom early and attracts lots of insects.  The only issue is the prickles, so I wear gloves when weeding around it.  It reseeds readily so long as there is good sun and  bare ground where the seeds land.

Don't let the name fool you, this is a Florida native.