Common name: Poppy

Family: Papaveraceae, Poppy

Height x width: 18-48" x 12-24" depending on species

Growth rate, habit: moderate to fast; upright to flopping, open

Foliage: often hairy, lobed or dissected, variable with species

Flowers: nodding buds solitary on long stalks, variable with species; hard, oval and decorative seed capsule; summer bloom in north, spring in south

Hardiness: zones 2 or 3 to 6 or 7

Soil: well-drained

Light: sun

Pests and Problems: root rots from poor drainage, bacterial blight, downy mildew, leaf spots, virus, aphids, plant bugs, leafhoppers, northern root-knot nematode

Landscape habit, uses: scattered or allowed to self-sow in borders, naturalized areas, accent for brighter colors; cut and dried seed pods; plant among other "filler" plants to cover as they die back in late season

Other interest: genus is Latin name for poppy; common name from Anglo-Saxon popig for sleep, refering to use of seeds of some species to make a sleep-inducing drink

Other culture: performs best in cool north, usually dies bakc (but isn't dead, so mark plants location) after bloom and in summer heat, self-sows prolifically

Propagation: seed (95,000 seeds per ounce), division after flowering when dormant or root cuttings in spring or after flowering


In addition to the following perennial species, annual species cold hardy to zone 8 include commutatum and rhoeas--the famous Shirley, Flanders, Field or Corn Poppy (bright red with black blotch); somniferum--opium poppy in white, red or lavender with seeds used in cooking, famous drug from sap of green seed capsules, illegal in some states.

•alpinum (al-pii' num)--Alpine Poppy, zones 4-6, 8-10" tall, several colors in summer, native to European Alps, good for rock gardens

•atlanticum (at-lan' ti-cum)--Moroccan Poppy, zones 4-6, 12-18", peach to pale pink flowers over gray-green foliage, late spring to early summer bloom, native to Morocco

•nudicaule (new-di-cae' lee)--Iceland Poppy or Arctic Poppy, zones 2-7, 12-18" tall, several colors in spring usually in seed mixtures, native to subarctic regions; annual in the south; 4-6" long gray-green pinnately-lobed leaves; flowers to 6" wide and suitable for cutting

•orientale (or-ee-en-tal' ee)--Oriental Poppy, zones 2-7, 18-36" tall, scarlet flowers with black blotches at petal bases in early summer for species (other colors for hybrids), native to southwest Asia; species of most hybrids, many with other species; definately prefer cooler northern climates


The following are the most common in commerce of the many selections being introduced.
Cultivar species flowers other
'Allegro' orientale red dwarf
'Beauty of Livermere' orientale red fine
'Betty Ann' orientale pink, crinkled margins  
'Big Jim' orientale deep red, crinkled margins 3' tall
'Bonfire' orientale fire red  
'Brilliant' orientale fire red  
'Carnival' orientale red, ivory bicolor 2' tall
'Carousel' orientale white, orange margins  
'Cedar Hill' orientale light rose 3' tall
'Champagne Bubbles' nudicaule mix hybrid, 3" flowers
'China Boy' orientale orange, creamy white center ruffled
'Crimson Pompon' orientale deep red, double  
'Curlilocks' orientale red-orange, black basal blotches deeply serrated
'Degas' orientale salmon, dark spots, late 2' tall
'Derwisch' orientale salmon red,basal spots, early 2' tall, compact
'Doubloon' orientale orange, double, early  
'Fatima' orientale white, pink margins compact habit
Garden Gnome hybrids nudicaule 5 colors, mix compact
'Glowing Embers' orientale scarlet, ruffled 2' tall
'Glowing Rose' orientale watermelon pink  
'Harvest Moon' orientale orange, small, no spots  
'Helen Elizabeth' orientale salmon pink classic
'Julianna' orientale rich pink, no blotches  
'Leuchtfeuer' orientale salmon red 2' tall
'Lighthouse' orientale light pink, wide dark center attractive
'Maiden's Blush' orientale white, pink edge, ruffled  
'May Curtis' orientale rose red  
'Mrs. Perry' orientale salmon pink, black blotches 3' tall
'Perry's White' orientale white, black eye  
'Patty's Plum' orientale plum
'Picotee' orientale white, salmon edges, early  
'Pinnacle' orientale white and red subtle bicolor  
'Pizzacato' orientale white, pink or red, with black eye compact, 2' tall
'Prince of Orange' orientale orange  
'Princess Victoria Louise' orientale light pink, black spots  
'Queen Alexander' orientale salmon pink, black center common
'Raspberry Queen' orientale dark rose pink, large vigorous
'Salmon Glow' orientale salmon orange, double  
'Show Girl' orientale pink, white centers, ruffled  
'Snow Queen' orientale white, large, black basal spots  
'Surprise' orientale red, black spots, floriferous 3-4' tall
'Turkenlouis':'Turkish Delight'      
'Turkish Delight' orientale scarlet, dark centers popular
'Warlord' orientale deep red, large  
'Watermelon' orientale watermelon pink  
Wonderland hybrids nudicaule several compact

©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS123 course.

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