Papaver rhoeas is a species classically associated with heavily disturbed ground (hence the symbolic association with the battlefields of WW I). One of the reasons for this is that it has a particularly persistent seed bank.
Type: Annual—lives just one year. Grows quickly, blooms heavily, dies in fall. Can regrow well if seed falls on bare ground.
Native to: Europe
Where to Grow it: All regions of North America
Bloom time and height: early through mid-season, to 2 ft
Sun/Shade: full sun
How to Grow it: Red poppy prefers neutral to alkaline soil, but is adaptable. Won’t do well on clay; loosen soil well, and press into surface. Do not cover; seed is dustlike. Very easy to grow. Sow in spring, or in fall after frosts for very early spring bloom. Bloom period can be extended by deadheading or making successive sowings.
Etc: Probably the world’s most popular wildflower, red poppy is also called Corn Poppy, American Legion Poppy, and Flanders Poppy. A Reverend Wilks in Shirley,England, developed what is known today as “Shirley Poppies” from selecting specimens of this species from the wild. His work resulted in this broad mix of colors and single/double flower forms. Most wildflower gardeners prefer this mixture (red, pink, white, single, double, even “picotee” bicolors) of colors for their poppies over the solid red basic species. See P. rhoeas, Red Poppy (all red).