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“Sea Poppy” or Yellow Horned Poppy

An encounter with the beautiful “Sea Poppy” or yellow horned poppy whilst exploring the shingle and pebble coastline of Kent in a recent field trip that included a visit to Samphire Hoe between Dover and Folkestone.

Often referred to as the “Sea Poppy” by many folk local to the shingle shores that make up much of the Kent coastline the yellow horned poppy (Glaucium flavum) is a truly stunning plant that can often be seen from afar with its beacon like petals that are a vibrant buttered gold.


The leaves are a hairy blue-green and feel waxy to the touch.


The beauty of this plant truly enhances the often rich and vibrant swathes of flora that abut the white cliffs in places. Other plant species which are common are bittersweet or woody nightshade (Solanum dulcamara), sea kale (Crambe maritima), rock samphire (Crithmum maritimum), sea beet (Beta vulgaris), wild teasel (Dipsacus fullonum) and wild marjoram (Origanum majorana) to name but a few.

The “horn” of this plant is the fruiting body or seed pod which produces many hundreds of seeds which are disbursed over the pebble shore, the previous year’s desiccated seed pods can often be seen in abundance.

Still in flower in September the “Sea Poppy” surely is the jewel in the crown of our shingle shoreline.

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May 2010

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