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Hawaiian Prickly Poppy

Posted by maui4me z6A NE TN (My Page) on
Tue, Aug 31, 04 at 13:04

Does anyone know how long it takes the Hawaiian Prickly Poppy (Argemone glauca) to flower from seed? Also, how long it takes for seed heads to mature after flowering? Can this plant be grown in a temperate climate as an annual? Mahalo.

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RE: Hawaiian Prickly Poppy

Quick info(based on experience):
I have had plants flower before roughly about six month after germination. I have one plant that is about 14 inches tall (as of today) it began flowering a couple of weeks ago before it was 10 inches tall. Today its fourth flower opened completely. Some plants reach maturity and die in less than a year.

More Information (this might be helpful):

I would first like to say congratulations for aquiring seeds of Argemone glauca (pua kala). This plant is amazing! I don't know what you already know about A. glauca, but I'll tell you what I know. I have had plants that lasted less than 1 year, but reached maturity and produced many seeds. This set of plants were initially started off as seeds in moist vermiculite. I cannot clearly remember but the vermiculite may have been allowed to dry out a number of times (though this was not intended). A. glauca is most often described as a perrenial herb. It can be found near sea level in coastal strand areas. On the island of Kaho'olawe I have seen them growing in a flat area with square miles of exposed hardpan soil, plants in general were very scarce in this area. The place looked like Mars. It was quite suprising to see A. glauca sparsely scattered in that wasteland that was once a Hawai'ian forest, a home for feral goats, and a bomb testing site. A. glauca is known to be one of the first plant to grow on new lava flows. Its elevational range is 0-1,900m(6,232 ft). There are several different varieties and forms of this species. Some populations have nearly no thorns while others are covered in thorns. Growth habit may vary. It is possible that different populations have different life durations (annual, perrenial, biennial).


Right now I have three plants planted in the ground. One of them is described earlier in this posting. One of them is less than 5in. tall with its largest leaf about 3in. long (no flowers). Leaf texture and color suggests that this plant is healthy is healthy. One is 13 inches tall with its largest leaf being about 5in. (no flowers, I consider this one the healthiest of the three). All were germinated at the same time. There is an odd story behind the germination of these plants. In early 2003 I collected seeds from wild plants growing no further than 40 yeards from the shore (at Makapu'u Beach Park, O'ahu). I put the seeds in a film cannester. I planted some in vermiculite that I kept moist. I eventually gave up on these. When I planted these seeds I had left the open film cannester outside. I forgot about this film cannester for a few months. The cannester must have been filled with rain at some points and it was exposed to full sun for a couple hours every day. I seen the cannester after it was forgotten for a while, mold was growing all over the seeds(the white fuzzy kind). I looked at the seeds as hopeless and tossed them (I can't remember how many seeds there are but I'm guessing about 20) in gravel with weed block underneath. I forgot about them again. Later I seen the distinct cotyledons of A. glauca growing in a little clump. I tried to plant as much as a could but only a few made it past being pulled out of the gravel. Now I have the three plants described. Priscilla Millen the Professor of Botany at Leeward Community College has attempted to scatter seeds in an area coveren in wood chips. One healthy plant (in flower) was all she could show at the time. I have scattered seeds before (intending to grow them) I have had only one plant grow by using this method. However, I watered this area regularly and did not forget about the seeds.

Bruce Koebele and John Culliney (the authors of a book entitled "A Native Hawaiian Garden"):
Suggest that the best way to grow A. glauca seeds is to scatter them in an area with exposed ground and forget about them. I am currently attempting this method. I am trying my best to forget about the seeds but remember not to disturb them. Outplant pua kala from pots before they reach a decimeter in height. They becoem stunted in pots but they will flower at an early age. Once in the ground water only for the first few weeks and if signs of extreme drought occur (wilted, discolored, shriveled leaves. keep in mind this could mean overwatering).

Good Luck!

Suggestions for further reading:

-The Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawai'i (2 volumes): Warren L. Wagner, Derral R. Herbst, S.H. Sohmer.- Bishop Museum, University of Hawai'i Press. 1990(first edition), 1999(second edition).

-A Native Hawai'ian Garden: John L. Culliney, Bruce P. Koebele- Latitude 20, University of Hawai'i Press 1999

More about A. glauca

Most of the Argemone spp. occur in north america. Argemone glauca may have evolved from a colonist from california that established itself in Hawai'i a couple thousand years ago. It is believed to have come to Hawaii shortly before the arrival of the polynesians (some authors say that the polynesians came to Hawaii at about 750A.D.). It is related to Argemone mexicana from South America. Hybrids between A. mexicana and A. glauca have been recorded.

Some botanists have classified A. glauca as varieties of A. alba, or A. mexicana.

Suggestions for further reading:

-The Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawai'i (2 volumes): Warren L. Wagner, Derral R. Herbst, S.H. Sohmer.- Bishop Museum, University of Hawai'i Press. 1990(first edition), 1999(second edition).

RE: Hawaiian Prickly Poppy

Aloha Cyanea! I don't have seeds for this beautiful plant. I've observed it many times on Maui, especially in the dry areas near Kaupo and a couple of Times along the walkway in Wailea. I've never caught them with ripe seeds or found them available anywhere. I thought I'd try them if I could locate some.

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