Yellow horn poppy

Yellow horn poppy

Yellow horn poppy

Specification & Spread

Yellow horn poppy herb — herba glaucii flavi
Yellow horn poppy — glaucium flavum crantz
Poppy family — papaveraceae
It is an annotinous, biennial, or perennial herbaceous plant with large densely pubescent lyre-pinnate bottom sand leaves collected in a rosette .
The stems are 20-50 cm tall with alternate amplexicaul leaves.
The flowers are solitary, regular, 2-5 cm in diameter, apical or axillary. There are 2 sepals, falling while blooming. There are 4 petals which are brilliant and yellow.
The fruit is a silicular linear capsule 15-25 cm long.
The seeds are reniform, brown or almost black. All parts of the plant contain laticifer.
It blooms in May – June, the fruits ripen in August – September.
Spreading. Yellow horn poppy is found only on the Black Sea coast – in the Crimea and in the Caucasus. The harvesting of raw materials in natural thickets is economically inexpedient, since the plant everywhere is absent. It has been successfully introduced into culture in Russia (Krasnodar Territory), in Ukraine (southern districts, Crimea), Moldova and in South Kazakhstan.
Habitat. It grows on well-drained sandy soils, pebbles, less often on rocky and stony slopes. Sometimes it is found in sod fields. The plant is listed in the Red Book.


All parts of the plant contain:

  • alkaloids – isoquinoline derivatives.

The amount of alkaloids in the mass flowering phase of yellow horn poppy reaches 4%, the half is glaucine.
It is found also:

  • flavonoids (rutin).

Harvesting and storage of raw materials

Harvesting. Yellow horn poppy is cultivated in the farms of the Krasnodar Territory as a biennial plant. On crops of the current year, the first mowing is carried out in late July – early August, in the second year it occirs in early June, when the plants enter the phase of mass flowering – fruit formation. During this period, the maximum content of glaucine and the highest alkaloid yield per unit area are noted. The second mowing on the transitional plantations is carried out in August, on annual crops – in late September or early October, when the content of glaucine in raw materials exceeds 1%.
Drying. After mowing, the herb is dried in rolls for 1-2 days, then ground and dried in dryers at a temperature of 75-80 °С.

Whole raw materials.

There is a mixture of whole or partially broken leaves, leafy branched stems, buds, flowers and unripe fruits. The pieces of stems are lightly ribbed, up to 30 cm long, bare, light green, brown with alternate sessile leaves or without it. The rosette and lower stem leaves are lyre, daedalous pinnate, from triangular to ovate sigments, irregularly sharp-toothed, grayish-green or yellowish-green, pubescent on both sides, up to 30 cm long and up to 10 cm wide.
The upper stem leaves are sessile, peristolic, generally broadly oblong or oblong-ovate, about 4 cm long and 2 cm wide, green, dark green, greenish brown or brown, bare or along the veins are pubescent with sparse bristly hairs.
The buds are ovate-oblong with acuminate tops and greenish-brown.
The flowers are regular. There are 2 sepals falling while the opening of the flower. The corolla is 4 tetrapetalous. It is yellow. The fruit is a cylindrical capsule. The smell is weak and specific. The taste is not determined(!).

Milled raw materials.

The pieces of stems, leaves, flowers, buds and fruits are passing through a sieve with 7 mm diameter holes. The colour is from green to brown. The smell is weak and specific. The taste is not determined(!).

Properties and application

Glaucine is characterized by:

  • pronounced antitussive activity. It oppresses the cough center;
  • possesses peripheral alpha-adreno-blocking action,
  • may cause a decrease in blood pressure.

Unlike codeine, glaucine:

  • does not depress the respiratory center,
  • does not suppress intestinal motor activity,
  • non-addictive and preparation dependent.

Application of yellow horn poppy

The raw materials are used to obtain as an antitussive.
In terms of its antitussive activity, glaucine is superior to codeine and, at the same time, it does not have any side effects inherent in codeine.

  • Hypersensitivity,
  • hypotension,
  • myocardial infarction,
  • sputum hyperproduction,
  • pregnancy and lactation.