Papaver somniferum

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.

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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.

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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.

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Pink Papaver somniferum

The Double Papaver somniferum kind of resembles a large Carnation or even a Peony.

Papaver somniferum - Copyright https://www.onlineflowergarden.com
Papaver somniferum - Copyright https://www.onlineflowergarden.com
Papaver somniferum – London

See also other Papaver varieties such as Papaver dubium, or other relatives from the Papaveraceae family such as California Poppy.

About Dino

Dino
I am a flower enthusiast and a gardener at heart. Ever since childhood I loved reading about plants and started gardening at an early age. First by helping my father in the garden and later managing a large garden myself in my teen years. I planted and cared for a large number of plants, flowers, and trees both outdoors and in a greenhouse. To this day I enjoy visiting gardens and parks and learning about new and old specimens and varieties of plants.

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