To be found all over the country; next to roadsides, or other areas where the soil has been disturbed.
General: These are pioneer plants, which are often mistaken for thistles.
Leaves: The rough serrated blue leaves (A.ochroleuca) or grey-green leaves (A. mexicana) are full of prickles. Yellow latex is produced when the plants are cut.
Flowers: The flowers resemble those of true poppies. Those of A. mexicana are bright yellow, while the flowers of A. ochroleuca are mainly cream-coloured.
Fruit: The fruits are capsule-like and spiny and the seeds are black with indentations (like a hand grenade).
1. Berberine • Intense yellow, bitter alkaloid.
• Eventually leads to respiratory depression and paralysis
2. Protopine • Cardiovascular suppression
3. Sanguinarine (predominantly in seed)
• Causes dilation of capillaries and increased permeability
Cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
Cattle: Subcutaneous oedema, ascites
Sheep: Lung emphysema (berberine effect)
Chickens: Blue combs, ascites and subcutaneous oedema.
Colour photos. Final web-ready size: JPEG. Photo 1: 9.1 kb, 72 ppi; Photo 2: 34.2 kb, 180 ppi; Photo 3: 17.2 kb 180 ppi; Photo 4: 55.3 kb, 96 ppi; Photo 5: 16.3 kb, 96 ppi. Original TIFF file housed at the Dept. of Paraclinical Sciences, Section Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Pretoria.