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Pseudo-oriental Poppy

Papaver pseudoorientale

  • Latin synonym: Papaver lasiothrix
  • Family: Poppy Family – Papaveraceae
  • Growing form: Perennial herb. Tufted. Taproot long, thick, branched.
  • Height: 50–110 cm (20–45 in.). Stem leafy until top, upper part smoothly haired.
  • Flower: Regular (actinomorphic), 8–12 cm (3.2–4.8 in.) wide. Petals 4 or 6, deep orangey red, usually with a rectangular dark blotch at their base. Sepals 2–3, hairy, fall as flower opens. Stamens many. Pistil of several fused carpels. Flowers solitary, terminating scape. Bud erect, elliptic.
  • Leaves: In basal rosette and alternate along the stem, stalked–stalkless. Stem leaves 4–7, highest one above middle of stem, one subtending bract often directly below inflorescence. Blade lobed, with irregularly toothed margins.
  • Fruit: Egg-shaped, 23–25 mm (0.9–1 in.) long, glabrous capsule. Stigma disc with 10–16 violet rays.
  • Habitat: Gardens, wasteland, roadsides. Ornamental, escape.
  • Flowering time: June.

Many big-flowered poppy species varieties are often called pseudo-oriental poppy, but the true pseudo-oriental poppy is the biggest and largest-flowered ornamental poppy that grows in Finland. This beautiful-flowered plant has become very popular and has in many places marginalized the previously popular, almost same-sized oriental poppy (P. orientale). It is usually quite easy to differentiate between the species when you know what you’re looking for: pseudo-oriental poppy’s stem is leafy until the top, the bud is erect, the base of the flower petals usually have a clear dark blotch, and the capsule is oval, egg-shaped.

Pseudo-oriental poppy is a joy to the eye, but it has no medicinal properties. Like most species in the genus, pseudo-oriental poppy’s natural area of distribution is the temperate parts of the old world, and it is native to Turkey and Iran. In Finland it thrives best in sunny habitats on land that has very good drainage.

Other species from the same genus
Other species from the same family

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