Glaucium flavum

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Yellow hornpoppy
File:Glaucium flavum03.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Papaveraceae
Genus: Glaucium
Species: G. flavum
Binomial name
Glaucium flavum

Glaucium flavum (yellow hornpoppy or yellow horned poppy) is a summer flowering plant in the Papaveraceae family, which is native to Northern Africa, Macronesia, temperate zones in Western Asia and the Caucasus, as well as Europe. Habitat: the plant grows on the seashore and is never found inland. All parts of the plant, including the seeds, are toxic and can produce a range of symptoms up to and including respiratory failure resulting in death FDA poisonous plants database.[1] It is a noxious weed in some areas of North America, where it is an introduced species. The thick, leathery deeply segmented, wavy, bluish-grey leaves are coated in a layer of water retaining wax. The sepal, petals and stamen have a similar structure and form to the Red Poppy (Papaver rhoeas) except the sepals are not hairy. Prolific quantities of seeds are held in a distinctive horn shaped fruit some 15 to 30 cm in length, which is divided into two chambers.[2]

In poetry

A poppy grows upon the shore,

Bursts her twin cups in summer late:

Her leaves are glaucus-green and hoar,

Her petals yellow, delicate.

She has no lovers like the red,

That dances with the noble corn:

Her blossoms on the waves are shed,

Where she stands shivering and forlorn.
Shorter Poems Robert Bridges


Glaucine is the main alkaloid component in Glaucium flavum.[3] Glaucine has bronchodilator and antiinflammatory effects, acting as a PDE4 inhibitor and calcium channel blocker,[4] and is used medically as an antitussive in some countries.[5] Glaucine may produce side effects such as sedation, fatigue, and a hallucinogenic effect characterised by colourful visual images,[6][7] and has recently been detected as a recreational drug.[8] For a detailed bibliography on Glaucine and Glaucium flavum see: National Agricultural Library (Glaugium flavum entry)


  1. Cooper, M. R. & A. W. Johnson. 1998. Poisonous plants and fungi in Britain: animal and human poisoning. (Cooper & Johnson ed2)
  2. L. J. F. Brimble (1947). Flowers in Britain. London: Macmillan and Co. p. 54. 
  3. G.B. Lapa; O.P. Sheichenko; A.G. Serezhechkin and O.N. Tolkachev (August 2004). "HPLC Determination of Glaucine in Yellow Horn Poppy Grass (Glaucium flavum Crantz)". Pharmaceutical Chemistry Journal 38 (1): 441–442. ISSN 0091-150X. doi:10.1023/B:PHAC.0000048907.58847.c6. Retrieved 14 June 2009. "S-(+)-Glaucine (C21H25NO4) is the main alkaloid component in the grass of yellow horn poppy (Glaucium luteum L., syn. Glaucium flavum Crantz) of the Papaveraceae family" 
  4. Cortijo J, Villagrasa V, Pons R, Berto L, Martí-Cabrera M, Martinez-Losa M, Domenech T, Beleta J, Morcillo EJ. Bronchodilator and anti-inflammatory activities of glaucine: In vitro studies in human airway smooth muscle and polymorphonuclear leukocytes. British Journal of Pharmacology. 1999 Aug;127(7):1641-51. PMID 10455321
  5. Rühle KH, Criscuolo D, Dieterich HA, Köhler D, Riedel G. Objective evaluation of dextromethorphan and glaucine as antitussive agents. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 1984 May;17(5):521-4. PMID 6375709
  6. Rovinskiĭ VI. A case of hallucinogen-like action of glaucine. (Russian). Klinicheskaia Meditsina (Mosk). 1989 Sep;67(9):107-8. PMID 2586025
  7. Rovinskiĭ VI. Acute glaucine syndrome in the physician's practice: the clinical picture and potential danger. (Russian). Klinicheskaia Meditsina (Mosk). 2006;84(11):68-70. PMID 17243616
  8. Dargan PI, Button J, Hawkins L, Archer JR, Ovaska H, Lidder S, Ramsey J, Holt DW, Wood DM. Detection of the pharmaceutical agent glaucine as a recreational drug. European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 2008 May;64(5):553-4. PMID 18204834

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