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common garden poppy, common poppy, opium poppy, pavot (commun)

Habit Plants to 15 dm, glabrate, glaucous.

simple or branching.


to 30 cm;

blade sometimes sparsely setose abaxially on midrib;

margins usually shallowly to deeply toothed.


peduncle often sparsely setose.


petals white, pink, red, or purple, often with dark or pale basal spot, to 6 cm;

anthers pale yellow;

stigmas 5-18, disc ± flat.


stipitate, subglobose, not ribbed, to 9 cm, glaucous.

Papaver somniferum

Phenology Flowering spring–summer.
Habitat Fields, clearings, stream banks, railroads, roadsides, and other disturbed sites
Elevation 0-1300 m (0-4300 ft)
from FNA
AZ; CA; CT; IL; MA; ME; MI; MN; MO; NC; ND; NH; NJ; NM; NY; OH; OR; PA; TX; UT; VA; VT; AB; BC; MB; NB; NF; NS; ON; QC; SK; Greenland; Europe; Asia [Introduced in North America]
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Unknown in the wild, Papaver somniferum probably came originally from southeastern Europe and/or southwestern Asia. It has been cultivated for centuries as the source of opium (and its modern derivatives heroin, morphine, and codeine), and also for edible seeds and oil. Various color forms with laciniate and/or doubled petals are grown for ornament. Widely introduced from cultivation and also as a crop weed, it should be expected elsewhere in the flora.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Source FNA vol. 3.
Parent taxa Papaveraceae > Papaver > sect. Papaver
Sibling taxa
P. alboroseum, P. argemone, P. californicum, P. dubium, P. gorodkovii, P. hybridum, P. lapponicum, P. macounii, P. mcconnellii, P. nudicaule, P. orientale, P. pygmaeum, P. radicatum, P. rhoeas, P. walpolei
Name authority Linnaeus: Sp. Pl. 1: 508. (1753)
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