Argemone mexicana L

Last updated: 07 April 2015

Scientific Name

Argemone mexicana L.


Argemone alba Raf. [Illegitimate], Argemone mucronata Dum.Cours. ex Steud., Argemone sexvalvis Stokes, Argemone spinosa Gaterau, Argemone spinosa Moench, Argemone versicolor Salisb., Argemone vulgaris Spach, Echtrus mexicanus (L.) Nieuwl., Echtrus trivialis Lour., Papaver mexicanum (L.) E.H.L.Krause [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Chelang keringan [2], pokok popi [4]
English Mexican poppy, prickly poppy, yellow thistle [2], devil’s fig, thistle, texas poppy, thistle poppy, thistley-bush, yellow flowered mexican poppy [3], thornapple [4]
China Jin ying su, lao shu le [3]
India Arasinna ummathi, arrsinna ummatha, arsinna dathora, arisina kamata gida, arsha unmatta, avaramuki [3]
Indonesia Celangkringan, druju (Javanese) [2]; deruju[4]
Thailand Fin naam (Bangkok)[2][3]
Philippines Kachumba, kasubang-aso (Iloko); diluariu (Tagalog)[2]
Vietnam Gai cua, m[uf]i cua, c[af] gai hoa v[af]ng [2][3]
Africa Ekijembajembe, mkumajalaga (East Africa); akusuribie, annasemmeyaa (Ghana); argemone du mexique, betakoa,chardon ben des antiles, chardon de goree, fantimboay (Madagascar); bloudissel, geelblom bloudissel, geldissel, meksikaanse papawer, steek boosie, ntsvanttsane [3]
France Argemone, pavot épineux, pavot du Mexique [2].

Geographical Distributions

Argemone mexicana is native to Mexico and the West Indies, but has become pantropical as an ornament and weed. It is naturalised in many Asian countries, from India, Indo-China to Taiwan, and southwards through Peninsular Malaysia, Java, the Lesser Sunda Islands, Sulawesi, to the Moluccas and the Philippines. [2]

A. mexicana occurs mainly in regions with a pronounced dry season, on open waste grounds, along roadsides, in fields as a weed and along railways, mostly at sea-level, but sometimes up to 3000 m altitude. It is locally abundant, but on the whole scattered. [2]

Botanical Description

A. mexicana comes from the family Papaveraceae. It is an annual, erect, branched, thistle-like herb that can grow up to 30-100 cm tall. It is smooth, containing yellow latex, pithy stem, with scattered prickles and firm taproot. [2]

The lower leaves are crowded in a rosette, and with short petiole, whereas the higher ones are alternate, semi-amplexicaul, sessile, very variable in shape, sinuate-pinnatifid, measure 5-22 cm x 3-7 cm, white-variegated along the main veins and bluish green elsewhere.The prickles are scattered along the margin and on the veins below. [2]

The inflorescence is terminal, with solitary flowers and sessile. [2]

The flowers are 3-merous and surrounded by 3 foliaceous bracts. There are 3 sepals which are valvate, vaulted, with horn below the acute apex, cylindrical, with few prickles and caducous at anthesis. There are 6 petals which are obovate, strongly plicate in bud, 1.7-3 cm long and bright yellow. There are many free stamens which are 7-12 mm long with anthers 2.5 mm long. The ovary is ovate, with long soft bristles, 8-10 mm long, with very short style, 3-6-lobed stigma and dark red. [2]

The fruit is an ovoid capsule, 2.5-4 cm long, with rounded ribs, 3-6 valves, dehiscing from the apex to about 1/3, miter-shaped replum and sharp prickles. [2]

The seeds are globular, 1.5 mm in diametre, fine reticulate, black-brown, with prominent pale hilum. The seedling is with epigeal germination while the cotyledons are long and narrow. [2]


No documentation

Chemical Constituent

No documentation

Plant Part Used

No documentation

Traditional Use

No documentation

Preclinical Data

No documentation

Clinical Data

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of A. mexicana L. [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Argemone mexicana L.[homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Apr 18; cited 2015 Apr 07]. Available from:
  2. Khanh TC. Argemone mexicana L. In: van Valkenburg JLCH, Bunyapraphatsara N, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publisher; 2001. p. 82-85.
  3. Umberto Q. CRC World Dictionary of Medicinal and Poisonous Plants: Common Names, Scientific Names, Eponyms, Synonyms, and Etymology (5 Volume Set). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 2012. p. 373-374
  4. Herbal Medicine Research Centre Institute for Medical Research. Compendium of Medicinal Plants Used in Malaysia. Volume 1. Kuala Lumpur: HMRC IMR; 2002. p.64.