Flora of Northern Ireland
Papaver somniferum
© Paul Hackney
Papaver somniferum
© Paul Hackney
Papaver somniferum
© Paul Hackney
Papaver somniferum
(Map updated: March 2008)
 

A handsome poppy species with, usually, pale lilac petals with dark blotches at their bases. The leaves are variously lobed and wrinkled and they and the stems are glaucous (bluish-green) in colour. Large round capsules of the usual poppy type succeed the flowers.

An annual species which probably survives as dormant seed in the soil for many years. Cultivation or disturbance of the ground produces germination of the seed, often in large quantities, so that the plant is characteristic of disturbed ground, waste tips etc.

The Northern Ireland wild population is probably derived from cultivated plants, and it is still a popular garden ornamental species.

All names: Papaver somniferum L.