Papaver orientale


Sp. Pl. 1: 508. 1753.

Common names: Oriental poppy
Synonyms: Papaver pseudoörientale (Fedde) Medwedew
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 3. Treatment on page 326.

Plants to 10 dm, hispid. Stems simple or rarely branching. Leaves to 35 cm. Inflorescences: peduncle moderately to densely appressed pale hispid; bracts sometimes 1-4 just beneath flower. Flowers: petals light orange to orange-red, usually with pale basal spot, sometimes dark-spotted or unspotted, to 6 cm; anthers violet; stigmas (8-)11-15, disc flat or shallowly convex. Capsules sessile, subglobose, obscurely ribbed, to 2.5 cm, glaucous.

Phenology: Flowering spring–summer.
Habitat: Fields, clearings, roadsides, and disturbed sites


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Introduced; Ont., Colo., Iowa, Mich., N.J., Pa., Utah, Va., Wis., sw Asia.


An alpine species in its native range, Papaver orientale is widely grown for ornament and sometimes persists after spreading from cultivation. It should be expected elsewhere in the flora.

Papaver bracteatum Lindley, which some authors have included in P. orientale, is similar but more robust, with buds erect, sepals subtended by 3-5 sepaloid and 2 foliaceous bracts, flowers to 20 cm diam., deep red petals with dark basal spot, and capsules to 4 cm. It is widely cultivated and may occasionally escape but apparently does not become naturalized.

Selected References


Lower Taxa