Papaver Species, Corn Poppy, Field Poppy, Flanders Poppy, Red Poppy

Papaver rhoeas

Family: Papaveraceae (pa-pav-er-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Papaver (puh-PAY-ver) (Info)
Species: rhoeas (ROH-ee-as) (Info)
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Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:




12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


Not Applicable

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:



Dark Purple/Black

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for cutting

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

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

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

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Pelham, Alabama

Anchorage, Alaska

Seward, Alaska

Phoenix, Arizona

Ceres, California

Chowchilla, California

Lompoc, California

Los Angeles, California

Merced, California

PLATINA, California

Patterson, California

Reseda, California

Salinas, California

San Diego, California

San Francisco, California

San Leandro, California

Stockton, California

Thousand Oaks, California

Grand Junction, Colorado

Parker, Colorado

Alford, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Colbert, Georgia

Valdosta, Georgia

Holualoa, Hawaii

Ankeny, Iowa

Iowa City, Iowa

Baldwin City, Kansas

Lansing, Kansas

Barbourville, Kentucky

Berwick, Maine

Fort George G Meade, Maryland

Lutherville Timonium, Maryland

Worcester, Massachusetts

Cedar Springs, Michigan

Ionia, Michigan

Fredericton, New Brunswick

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Buffalo, New York

Germantown, New York

Kinderhook, New York

Ashland, Oregon

Astoria, Oregon

Klamath Falls, Oregon


Greencastle, Pennsylvania

Lewisburg, Pennsylvania

Columbia, South Carolina

Crossville, Tennessee

Arlington, Texas

Austin, Texas

Burnet, Texas

Desoto, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Kurten, Texas

New Caney, Texas

Draper, Utah

Park City, Utah

West Dummerston, Vermont

Clarkston, Washington

Clarkston Heights-Vineland, Washington

Coupeville, Washington

Kalama, Washington

West Clarkston-Highland, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 21, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

A once common weed of wheat fields in Europe, sometimes cultivated as a hardy annual. The species has scarlet red flowers with a black base.

Pre-started plants do not grow as well as plants direct sown in the garden. Plants are tap-rooted and even small seedlings are stunted by transplanting.

In Z6a New England, seeds should be sown in March. Plants need cool weather, especially cool nights, to grow well. Seedlings don't mind light frosts. Other essentials are full sun and light soil.

Seeds should be thinly sown, and should not be covered, as they need light to germinate. 1/2 teaspoon seeds mixed well with 1 cup builders sand (pass through a sieve or strainer several times to mix thoroughly, and again to sow) will cover about 12 square feet of ... read more


On Jul 4, 2010, Clary from Lewisburg, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Pretty wildflower. Weedy habit. Wiry, twining stems and delicate petals. The blooms don't last long and fade quickly in bright sun. Red flowered plant self-sowed and produced orange flowered "children."


On Jul 2, 2009, anelson77 from Seattle, WA wrote:

These grow easily from seeds broadcast in February or March in the Pacific Northwest. They like full sun, fertile soil but make do with poor dry soil. They bloom for a fairly long period, in June and July. They come in a variety of colors and flower forms but the simple red ones can't be beat. They look great with delphiniums, and other poppy varieties.


On Nov 20, 2006, Fleurs from Columbia, SC wrote:

With their delicate tissue-paper blossoms, Shirley Poppies are one of the delights of early Spring here in South Carolina. They're very easy to winter sow and don't mind being planted out while there's still a chance of frost -- in fact, it's the heat they don't like. Although their bloom time is brief, that just makes me appreciate them all the more.


On May 4, 2005, nevadagdn from Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) wrote:

I'm still trying to get these to grow from seed. Maybe it's my casual broadcast method in early January... that's the problem?


On May 4, 2005, JaxFlaGardener from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

I finally got one of these poppies to grow, and it now seems worth the previous wasted efforts! I've tried growing from seeds. The plants would sometimes germinate in seed trays, but would soon damp off. Broadcast seeding didn't provide any results until I found out that the seeds should be planted in the cool temperatures of late Fall (October/November here in NE Florida). I broadcast some poppy seeds in November last year, using a few of my collection of Red Poppy seed packets provided in all mailings from the National Home Gardening Club. This Spring, I wasn't sure if the seedling plant that came up was a dandelion or thistle or poppy so I left it to grow instead of pulling it up. I'm glad I left it! The poppy bloomed for the first time yesterday (May 3). It will be interesting ... read more


On Aug 10, 2004, WalterT from San Diego, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

The poppies of Flanders fields. I first saw them in northern France in the middle of World War 2, summer of 1944. The sight of vast fields of blood-red poppies brought back memories of my early childhood. World War 1 was still in the recent past and the songs and poetry from that war were still heard frequently on the radio. Before the war ended I visited the huge American WW 1 cemetary near Chateau Thierry and as I gazed out over the thousands of white crosses and stars of David I said, half out loud,"Here we are again, boys." Now there are blood-red poppies growing all over the world, literally and figuratively.... It is remarkable what thoughts the sight of a single plant, a single flower, can generate in one's mind. WTH.


On Aug 9, 2004, starshine from Bend, OR (Zone 6a) wrote:

I love the dancing petals ripe with a variety of colours from the onset of summer til it fades into fall these poppies grow well in full sun, or partial sun. They will also tolerate drought fairly well (though I wouldn't let them turn brown;)


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

Set out seeds in the fall for March bloomers here in southern CA. Does best in full sun. Will flop over and reach for light if in partial shade. Beautiful bloomer for after the bulbs have gone. Reseeds.


On Jul 6, 2003, Oberon46 from (Mary) Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b) wrote:

Planted from seed in spring (Mid-May for us in Alaska). Had first bloom July 4th, a brillant red with black center. Plants are 12-18" high with stems as big or bigger than my thumb. Huge fleshy plants. Will collect seeds and broadcast in fall.


On Nov 10, 2002, Bug_Girl from San Francisco, CA wrote:

I have had limited success with these plants. I never see them in cell packs so one has to buy seeds. Each brand of seeds has different qualities, some of the ones that reseeded very more successful then the ones bought in packages. Some of them had a powder mildew problem, and some of them flopped over, due to excess vegative growth, however, some of them were just lovely.


On Jul 2, 2002, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Sowing seeds to germinate in late summer, to overwinter and bloom the following spring/summer results in much bigger and healthier plants that have many more flowers than those sown in late winter or early spring.

Removing spent flower stems before seed starts to ripen results in flowering for up to 3 months.


On May 2, 2002, Lilith from Durham,
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

A native species in the UK, poppies paint a new road verge or embankment a brilliant hue in their first year, but rapidly decline and after a few years exist only as seeds in the soil, waiting until the land is turned again. Once a common sight in cornfields, more effective seed cleaning and use of selective herbicides have made poppies much rarer.


On Aug 30, 2001, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Hardy Annual. Self-sows readily and is a good choice for naturalizing in a meadow garden. Single, red, cup-shaped flowers have a black blotch in the center. It is the classic poppy bloom and absolutely stunning. The original species of this plant was introduced into our country from Russia in 1876 by William Thompson, the founder of the Thompson and Morgan Seed Company. Leaves are deeply lobed and the plant is fully hardy. Seeds need darkness to germinate