Papaver somniferum

Scientific name: Papaver somniferum

Synonym: Papaver hortense


Common names: “Opium poppy” “dream plant” “fairy’s charms” “flower of Venus” “moonflower” “sweet slumber”

Plant Type: Annual


Zone: 8-9

Light: Full sun

Exposure: Sheltered

Soil: Average, less clay better

Moisture: Well drained


Plant Size: H 3-4′ W 1′

Leaf and Stem shape: Heart-shaped leaves, the upper ones clasping the stem and with toothed, wavy margins

Flower: Single or double purple – red – pink – white flowers with petals surrounding a green, urn-shaped capsule with a flat cap, and many dark purple or yellow stamens, the capsule enlarges after flowering and makes a decorative cut flower fresh or dried

Maintenance: Low, sow seeds in early spring

Landscape use: Cut flower garden, cottage garden, gravel, prairie

Propagate: By seed

Pests & Disease: May get aphids

*Deer resistant

Comments: May cause drowsiness if sap gets on skin, traditionally used to make laudanum milk of poppy, cut flowers tend to wilt fast – burning the ends makes them last longer


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