Hawaiian Name(s): pua kala, kala, naule, pōkalakala

Scientific Name: Argemone glauca

Vernacular Name: prickly poppy

Family: Papaveraceae

Status: endemic

Authority: (Nutt. ex Prain) Pope

Description: Perennial herbs 7-15 dm long, covered with yellow, stiff prickles & white flowers.

Habitat Usually occuring on leeward sides of islands in coastal dry forest and subalpine forest between 0-1900 m of most main islands (Wagner et al. 1990:1005).

Medicines: The seeds and sap of the stalk used as a narcotic and analgesic for toothaches, neuralgia and ulcers; sap also used to treat warts (Krauss 1993:102).

Non Medicinal Uses:

Specific gravity of wood: n/a

Famous Locations:


`Ōlelo Noeau:

Dye Color and Parts:

Kino lau:

Location on Bishop Museum Kalihi Campus:

Propagation Information: Easy. Seeds sprout in Fall, transplant to individual pots after 2nd/3rd true leaves develop, avoid overwatering, flowers after 3 months, after primary stalks have aged cut them back & new shoots emerge; rapid sprouting leads to containment problem (Culliney and Koebele 1999:134–136).
Native Plants Hawaii.

Seed: Seed length approximately 2 mm. Photograph: B.Kennedy.
Click for image