Argemone mexicana L

[From Latin, mexicana = from Mexico]

Common names: Mexican poppy, thistle root, prickly poppy, thornapple; khyaa (Burmese); laochouli (Chinese); cardo santo, figo do inferno (Portuguese); chardon benit des Antilles, herbe a femme (French); lao thu lac (Vietnamese); adormidera espinosa (Spanish); brahmadandi (Tamil and Sanskrit).

Physical description: It is a tropical shrubby herb which grows to a height of 1.2 m. The plant is native to tropical America. The stems are thorny, succulent and glabrous. The latex is yellow and slightly corrosive. Leaves: simple, glaucous, without stipules and amplexicaul. The blade is glaucous, deeply incised, 11.5 cm x 7cm-3.5cm x 2.5 cm, and shows 34 pairs of secondary nerves. The margin is thorny. The flowers are yellow, terminal, and 4 cm in diameter. The calyx comprises of 3 prickly and ovate sepals. The corolla comprises of 6 branaceous. The ovary is prickly and ovules. The stigma is sessile and 4-6-lobed. The fruits are prickly capsules, 2.5cm-3.8cm in diameter and opening by 4-6 valves. The seeds are numerous and netted (Fig. 43).

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