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Argemone mexicana subsp. ochroleuca or Argemone ochroleuca subsp. ochroleuca
Commonly known as the Prickly poppy or Mexican Poppy.
It’s a considered a weed in quite a few places, but like all plants, when properly managed it has its uses…
Whole young plant blended up with water, strained and sprayed around the roots are the only thing I have seen successfully kill lawn grubs in my potted plants, without killing the plants themselves.
Sprayed on the stems and trunks it kills aphid farming ants and stops them from getting a foot hold on your citrus, and lasts quite a long time after application, unlike most other stuff. (Don’t spray the fruit, leaves, or flowers!)
It’s nasty bitter tasting stuff, so it stops the rabbits and roos chewing the bark off your trees in the really dry times too.
I found this interesting write up on the internet and seriously don’t recommend anything in it AT ALL>>>>
The whole plant is analgesic, antispasmodic, possibly hallucinogenic and sedative. It contains alkaloids similar to those in the opium poppy (P. somniferum) and so can be used as a mild pain-killer. The fresh yellow, milky, acrid sap contains protein-dissolving substances and has been used in the treatment of warts, cold sores, cutaneous affections, skin diseases, itches etc. It has also been used to treat cataracts and has been taken internally in the treatment of dropsy and jaundice. The root is alternative and has been used in the treatment of chronic skin diseases. The flowers are expectorant and have been used in the treatment of coughs and other chest complaints. The seed is demulcent, emetic, expectorant and laxative. An infusion, in small quantities, is used as a sedative for children, but caution is advised since the oil in the seed is strongly purgative. The seed has also been used as an antidote to snake poisoning. The pounded seeds, mixed with mustard oil, are applied externally to treat itchy skin. The oil from the seed is demulcent and purgative. It has been used externally in the treatment of skin problems. Caution is advised in the use of this oil, prolonged ingestion produces toxic effects resembling those occurring in epidemic dropsy.
All of the above was from another site, that I don’t recommend.
DON’T give this toxic poisonous plant to your kids!
DON’T rub it on you skin!
DON’T eat any of it!
DON’T DO ANY OF THE ABOVE!!! (and if that’s your intentions, buy it elsewhere, please.)
IT IS A POISONOUS PLANT, and its ONLY safe use is as a POISON or an ornamental!
The leaf does have a long history of use as a “dropsy treatment/cure”, but a history of use, is NOT proof of effectiveness, and poisoning from the oil of the seed is the biggest cause of dropsy in India still today!
It’s a common contaminant in mustard seeds causing numerous health issues.
So why even grow it?
It is a great bug spray in the hot dry times when nothing else will grow and we have no spare water.
It’s quite pretty, has no pests or diseases, and most importantly, its very easy to control, unlike a lot of other more invasive weedy species.
It doesn’t grow back from the root and can just be hand-pulled or chipped when they flower, and blended up for a spray, or dried and stored for later or composted.
They are more effective fresh, but just use double if they are dried.
Handled with care, and grown responsibly, its a great little addition.