If you would like to read my Dorset nature notes about any of these featured species or sites please click on the post title

About Me

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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

04 December, 2016

Yellow Horned-Poppy: stone me

I never ceased to be amazed by nature! The yellow horned-poppy (Glaucium flavum) grows in the shingle you find on beaches, just how amazing is it that plants can not just survive but actually thrive in what appears to be a totally inhospitable environment. It is not alone, a few other plants have made shingle beaches their home.
Being a large yellow-flowered poppy you hardly likely to mistake it for any other plant but just to be certain that the sprawling, large four-petalled flower growing on a shingle beach that you have found is, indeed, the yellow horned-poppy look for the seed capsules from flowers that have gone over. In fact you probably will not need to look for them they will be obvious at once being anything from six to twelve inches long, the largest seed capsule of any British plant. This long seed capsule is, of course, how it gets its name as a horned-poppy. Related to the common field poppy you can find this flower on the various shingle beaches in Dorset but Chesil beach is its stronghold.
This is a very poisonous plant that can cause all manner of ill effects if consumed. Some chemicals, notably glaucine, are taken from it for various modern drugs but these can sometimes be accompanied by difficult side effects.
Yellow Horned-Poppy: stone me