Papaver somniferum is an annual, evergreen from the Papaveraceae family of plants, it is also known as Opium Poppy. The flowers can be single or double and range from white to purple to red. The best known and most popular is red. Papaver somniferum can grow to over 1m or 3.5ft. It does well in full sun and it is pretty hardy. It likes well-drained, sandy soil.
I came across these in my photograph on one of my walks in London in early June. In general, they flower from June to August. Papaver somniferum attracts bees and it is very eye-catching. The flowers don’t last long but it does keep flowering.
After the flowers are gone Papaver somniferum generates a big seed pod which in itself is very attractive. The pods are actually used for medicinal purpose, morphine, codeine, as well as opium, and heroin are all derived from the unripe seed pods. The seeds themselves are another reason for the popularity of these flowers. Poppy seeds are non-narcotic and are used in baking. Papaver somniferum has toothed leaves. It is self-seeding and easy to grow.
The Double Papaver somniferum kind of resembles a large Carnation or even a Peony.