Papaver argemone is a species of the genus Papaver. Its common names include long pricklyhead poppy, prickly poppy and pale poppy. Its native range includes parts of Eurasia and North Africa, and it is cultivated as an ornamental plant. It can be found growing wild in parts of North America, where it is an introduced species.
This annual herb grows up to 50 cm, Its 15–50 cm long, branching stems are coated in stiff prickly hairs. The fern-like green, leaves at the base of the plant have stalks, but upper leaves are stalk-less. They can be up to 20 cm long. It blooms in spring to summer, between May and July. The flowers have four, slightly overlapping red petals, around a dark base. They can measure 2–5.5 cm across, with pale blue anthers and 4-6 stigmas. Later, the plant produces a seed capsule, oblong to clavate (clubbed like) shaped with ribs and up to 2 cm long.
The plant contains alkaloids, explaining its traditional use in herbal medicines. It also means the plant is not eaten much by grazing animals. It is native to Europe and countries around the Mediterranean. It grows in fields and disturbed soils (including ploughed). It is normally found at 0–300 m above sea level.
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