Also known as
Sea poppy, yellow hornpoppy, G. luteum
Where is it originally from?
Western Europe, Mediterranean, South Western Asia
What does it look like?
Annual or perennial herb which starts as a tufted rosette, then produces stout, erect, hairless, bluish-green stems (20 cm to 50 cm tall). Leaves are also bluish-green, with very deeply lobed or toothed lower leaves (<50 cm long x 10 cm wide) that are hairy on both surfaces. Upper leaves are smaller, egg-shaped or triangular, hairy above and almost hairless below, shallowly lobed and without leaf stalks. Flowers are held individually on short, hairless stalks (1-2 cm long). Sepals are hairy, and the flowers made up of four overlapping yellow petals (30mm x 40mm, Nov-Mar) and develop into long seed capsules (<30 cm long and 0.7 mm wide) with warty surfaces.
Are there any similar species?
Californian poppy has more highly divided leaves, watery sap and short, thick seed capsules that split into two parts.
Why is it weedy?
Withstands hot, dry conditions and thrives in poor soils. Frost tolerant.
How does it spread?
Seed spread by water.
What damage does it do?
Outcompetes small native grasses and herbs on poor soils.
Which habitats is it likely to invade?
Bare, gravelly or sandy, dry or well-drained soils with high light levels such as rocky and shingly coast line, coastal cliffs, dunes and braided rivers.
What can I do to get rid of it?
Pull out small patches (spring-summer).
What can I do to stop it coming back?
Monitor the site and pull out any seedlings. Where appropriate plant local native plants to produce shade.