Macleaya cordata  (Bacconia c.) plume poppy Papaveraceae MACO; Bx, pb (DeCandido 2001); R, fc;

  

Macleaya cordata.commons.wikimedia.org

Macleaya cordata.commons.wikimedia.org (Accessed 4/2014).

Macleaya cordata is a perennial herb to 2.5 m tall, aggressively colonial from fleshy rhizomes, stems stout, waxy-pale, sap yellow-orange. 

Leaves alternate, stalks long, blade to ca 20 cm long, 24 cm wide, palmately veined, densely wooly white below, dark green above, deeply round-lobed and toothed. 

Flowers greenish-white, small, no petals; petals replaced by numerous stamens; wind pollinated (Ronse De Craene 2003); inflorescence large, branched from a central axis, (Bailey and Bailey 1976). 

Fruit dry, a capsule with 4-6 black, round seeds with small white-yellow appendages (arils, possible ant dispersed); found in fruit Oct. 

Wetland status: UPL. 

Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent. 

Origin: Asian. 

Habitat: Garden escapee found in coal slag fill. 

Notes: Contains the toxic alkaloid sanguinarine which is reputed to have antimicrobial properties (Fern, K. 2004; Wikipedia contributors 2006).