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Poppy field
Photo by Kev, Dorset, UK

Poppy field

This Entry Has been Viewed 3485 times since 24/05/1999

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The Poppy Family

Annual Species
alpinum - Alpine Poppy
nudicaule - Iceland Poppy
rhoeas - Field Poppy
somniferum - Opium Poppy

Perennial species
orientale - Oriental Poppy

alpinum;A rock garden specie that forms mounds of grey green foliage about 100mm high and spreads to around 250mm. The flowers are 30-50mm in diameter and appear from May onwards.

nudicaule;A short lived perennial that is generally treated as a half hardy annual. The plant grows to around 600mm high and should be planted out at 300-500mm apart. The flowers are approx 60mm in diameter and appear in June to August.

rhoeas;A hardy annual that grows to around 600mm high and should be spaced out around 300mm apart.
The 75mm diameter red flowers with a black centre appear in June to August.

somniferum;A hardy annual that grows to around 700mm high and should be spaced out around 300mm apart.
The 100mm diameter flowers appear in June to August followed by large flat topped seed pods, often used for flower arranging or as part of a dried flower display.

A hardy perennial that grows to around 700-900mm high, and should be spaced out around 600mm apart.
The 100mm diameter scarlet flowers with a dark blotch appear from May onwards.
Cultivation of annual species
Grow in ordinary well drained soil in a sunny position.

Sow seeds in March/April directly into their flowering position, thinning down to required spacings.
Most poppies resent root disturbance so transplanting is not recommended.

Alternatively sow under glass in April pricking out the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle into trays/boxes and place in cold frame until planting out time in late May

Note; Most species self seed, dead head regularly to prevent this.

Cultivation of perennial species;

Sow seed in April in a cool greenhouse or cold frame, prick out when large enough to handle, grow on in cold frame, and plant out in suitable weather from October to March.

Divide and replant in March/April, alternatively take root cuttings and grow in a cold frame until the following March/April.

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