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Yellow horned poppy: glaucium flavum

Image by Marc Pascual da Pixabay

Everyone knows the classic red poppy that surrounds our Italian countryside, but how many can say they know the  yellow horned poppy? This particular type of poppy, can be defined a marine flower due to its predilection to grow in sea areas. But let's try to get to know this poppy with a curious name but a special charm.

Also known as Glauncium flavum, the yellow horned poppy belongs to the Papaveraceae family and can be found mainly along the coasts of the Mediterranean or in areas with a marine climate. It does not require great care, also for this reason it can be easily cultivated. It has a long and thin stem and dark green alternate leaves, covered with a very light white hair, while as regards the flowers, hermaphrodites, are constituted by four yellow petals and two sepals. The fruits produced by the yellow poppy are a kind of capsule that in some cases can fold up to form a course, able to secrete a particularly dense milky substance, yellow in color and with an unpleasant smell. Flowering usually takes place between April and May or in any case between late spring and full summer.

CULTIVATION
This particular type of poppy does not require very demanding cultivation techniques, in fact it grows autonomously and does not need a particular type of fertilizer or assiduous irrigation, the rainwater is enough for it. The only thing to pay attention to is that the horned poppy needs full sun exposure, so if you decide to grow it in your garden, consider the best position. Moreover it resists well to extreme temperatures both to the warmer ones and to the harsh winters. Even its spread occurs by self-propagation, which means that the seeds moved by the wind finding fertile ground begin their proliferation.

CURE AND OTHER CURIOSITIES
The leaves of the yellow  horned poppy are often used for their anti-inflammatory effect, but also because they seem to have a particular sedative effect for coughing. The healing abilities of this plant are due to its active ingredient, glaucine, an alkaloid with various beneficial properties. In fact it is often used in herbal medicine for its draining effects, allowing the elimination of liquids, invigorating, accelerating the conversion of adipose tissue into fibroblastic tissue going to dissolve even the imperfections that cause the so-called orange peel. However, glaucine also has side effects, in fact it is a powerful hallucinogen capable of causing hallucinations that can become dangerous. It should be emphasized that the yellow horned poppy plant is highly toxic, which is why if you decide to grow it yourself make sure it is not within reach of children or your pets.

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