Opium Poppy, Breadseed Poppy, Lettuce Leaf Poppy 'Naughty Nineties'

Papaver somniferum

Family: Papaveraceae (pa-pav-er-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Papaver (puh-PAY-ver) (Info)
Species: somniferum (som-NEE-fer-um) (Info)
Cultivar: Naughty Nineties



Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


Scarlet (Dark Red)

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer


Unknown - Tell us

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:


Wedowee, Alabama

Anchorage, Alaska

Fresno, California

Richmond, California

San Diego, California

San Leandro, California

Essex, Connecticut

Boise, Idaho

Divernon, Illinois

Somerset, Kentucky

The Dalles, Oregon

Anacortes, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 8, 2010, travelgal from Clarkesville, GA wrote:

This is THE OPIUM Poppy. I was told it is actually against the law to grow it, but as long as you dont milk it, law enforcement turns its head for gardeners.
It actually comes in many shades of red, pink, lavender and even white. A group of them looks beautiful. Put them in the background somewhere, where they can reseed every year and not get in the way.
Looks good with old fashioned larkspur, if you can find the seeds, blooming at the same time with same habit.


On Dec 11, 2009, jmorth from Divernon, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

Prolific self-seeders. Quiet wind-hardy. Quite historic, cause of the Opium Wars between England and China in the 1800's. Nice visual impact. Seed broadcast during cold months brings late spring flowers. Interesting seedhead.


On Jul 18, 2006, claypa from West Pottsgrove, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:



On Apr 24, 2004, frogsrus from San Diego, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

This plant has a gorgeous flower but the foliage is not especially pretty. I planted the seed in fall and now the small plants are 52" and the tallest ones top out at 60". I wish I had put them behind the watsonias. the bees are thrilled with it! Next year it goes in the back!