In the genus macaca of the poppy family, there are about 20 species growing from the shores of England and the Mediterranean to the Tien Shan mountains and northern China.
All of them have strongly dissected bluish leaves collected in a rosette. Some species are stemless and very similar to poppy, especially during flowering. They are well distinguished from poppies by very long narrow fruits - pod-shaped capsules with a septum, splitting lengthwise into 2 valves.
Most often in Russia, 2 species are found and grown - a yellow macho and a horned macho. Both grow in the Black Sea region, but differ in habitat and appearance.
Moth yellow (Glaucium flavum)
A biennial, less often a one- or juvenile plant with gray foliage, rough from dense pubescence. In the first year, it forms a very beautiful rosette of large leaves up to 30 cm long. These leaves are deeply pinnately spaced, with large sharp-toothed lobes and often wavy edges, covered with dense, shaggy, curly gray pubescence. The rosette is extremely decorative. The leaf lobes are arranged in tiers, and are capable of changing the angle of inclination depending on the illumination according to the principle of blinds. This makes it possible for the plant to adapt to existence in the most burning sun.
In the second year, the plant throws out tall, highly branching peduncles up to 90 cm tall. Stem leaves are sessile, stalk-embracing, glabrous, with lobes of a greener color that are almost integral along the margin than rosette leaves.
The buds are oblong, glabrous or bristly, up to 3 cm long. The flowers are large, numerous, with 4 bright yellow shiny petals. Sepals 2, falling when the flower blooms. Petals up to 3 cm long, wide, rounded. A flower that has blossomed in the morning, as a rule, lasts only until the end of the day. Blossoms in May-July; bears fruit from June to August. It usually dies after fruiting. Pollination occurs even in the bud, which also makes it possible for the macula to provide offspring in extremely unfavorable growing conditions. Fruits are pod-shaped capsules with a septum on which black shiny seeds are located. Fruit length - up to 25 cm, often they are slightly curved. Dried fruit-bearing bushes break off and roll like tumbleweeds, scattering seeds along the way.
Yellow machok is a typical littoral plant that lives on coastal sands, pebbles, less often on coastal clay and rocky cliffs. It is found in the Black Sea region, the Mediterranean and along the Atlantic coasts up to Norway. Grows well on slightly alkaline and slightly saline soils, resistant to sea spray, sand and shell rock. Due to such a specialized habitat, the plant was under threat in our country, since it is heavily trampled on sandy beaches by numerous vacationers in the Crimean and Caucasian resorts. As a result, the yellow macho was included in the Red Data Books of Ukraine and Russia.
The yellow macaw is poisonous. When taken internally, it causes nausea, vomiting, constipation, urinary retention, and in large doses, it inhibits the respiratory center. Contains isoquinoline alkaloids that affect the respiratory center. During mass flowering, the alkaloids content can reach 4%.
The drugs "Bronholitin", "Glaucina hydrochloride" and "Glauvent" are produced, which turn off the cough center and are used for dry cough. Antitussive activity is superior to codeine, but does not cause addiction and dependence.
In addition, extracts from the yellow macula lower blood pressure. For industrial purposes, macaque yellow has to be grown, since its raw material base is very insignificant. Macca preparations are produced mainly in Bulgaria, although it has been successfully introduced into cultivation in the Krasnodar Territory, in the south of Ukraine and in Kazakhstan.
Cultivation and reproduction
The machok is easily grown from seeds and is capable of self-seeding even in the conditions of the Middle Lane. Prefers podzimny sowing, although in spring it rises in about 2 weeks. Requires as sunny location as possible, neutral or slightly alkaline soil. Responds well to feeding.
Occasionally there is a form with orange or almost red flowers, which differs from the horned macula in the absence of spots on the petals and in its large size.
Horned macaw (Glaucium corniculatum)
Another species, often found along the shores of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, is introduced to England and other European countries, sometimes bred as decorative.
It is much smaller, up to 30 cm tall. It differs from the previous species in smaller size, pubescent buds and fruits, and, above all, in the color of flowers. In the horned macula, they are bright or wine-red, in most cases with black-purple spots at the base of the petals. Pollinated by bees. It also spreads on the principle of tumbleweed. Fruits are straight and long, up to 25 cm long, young are covered with dense white pubescence. It blooms in the Black Sea region from April to the end of July, according to some reports, even until September. In the middle lane, respectively, later.
This macula is more often an annual, much less often a biennial. Horned macaw is found much more often than yellow, since its habitat is not associated with coastal sands, although it can grow there. This is a typical plant of disturbed soils - fields, weedy stony places, roads, cliffs and talus, chalk slopes. In Turkey, it rises in the mountains to an altitude of 2000 m. Sowing of this species is carried out as early as possible, as long as there is enough moisture in the soil. You can also grow seedlings, but in this case, the pick is carried out in separate pots already when the first true leaf appears. At a later date, macaques, like all poppies, are transplanted very poorly. If sown late, this macaw can behave like a winter biennial and bloom only the next year.