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Papaver Species, Atlas Poppy, Moroccan Poppy, Spanish Poppy

Papaver atlanticum

Family: Papaveraceae (pa-pav-er-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Papaver (puh-PAY-ver) (Info)
Species: atlanticum (at-LAN-tik-um) (Info)


Alpines and Rock Gardens


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for cutting

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

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round

Suitable for growing in containers


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:



Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:


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

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:

Los Angeles, California

San Francisco, California

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Conway, South Carolina

Fort Mill, South Carolina

Bellingham, Washington

Marysville, Washington

Seattle, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 8, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Flowers are a beautiful soft creamsicle orange, and last only a day. Flowering begins with a flush in June and then persists, one or two flowers at a time, into late fall. I shear plants back when the accumulating seedpods start looking messy. Foliage sometimes also needs a cutback in late summer if it gets lanky/ragged.

Hardy to Z4.

This is 18-24" tall in bloom, most of which is wiry flower stem.

I've read that this makes a good (though not longlasting) cut flower if cut when the bud is just showing color and the cut ends of the stems are dipped in boiling water---as for any poppy.

Adaptable from full sun to part shade. This is a reliable self-sower, not excessively aggressive in its self-sowing. There are strains with single flo... read more


On Jul 9, 2013, derbeh from Los Angeles, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

After a touch and go experience trying to sprout the seeds in a greenhouse (long story short - i had to REMOVE them from the greenhouse, because it was far too hot in the greenhouse and the seedlings were burning up), i was able to place the six-pack plastic pots in my garden to start the seeds. In february they sprouted, along with the ones i planted directly in the soil in my garden. My garden has very sandy soil with some added compost. Every one of the saved greenhouse sprouts is now blooming and the ones i planted directly in the soil are blooming. 30" stems with delicate orange-julius looking double ruffled blooms floating above the sturdy stems. I'm so happy these have done so well in FULL sun and half sun (two different areas they are planted in), and I'm hoping that these will res... read more


On Sep 25, 2012, kevinz from San Francisco, CA wrote:

I am growing this plant in sandy soil between two houses! It only gets sun in the morning and afternoon, but I have found that it likes this. I have the plant elsewhere in full sun and it doesn't seem to be as happy.


On May 11, 2009, anelson77 from Seattle, WA wrote:

These reseed, but not too agressively, and grow anywhere I scatter the seeds. Sun to part shade, poor soil, moderate to little water. They start blooming in May and keep going most of the summer. The foliage stays evergreen and looks nice all year.


On Nov 27, 2008, Ficurinia from Portland, OR wrote:

I love this plant. It just blooms and blooms. If the orange color turns you off, plant it with some blue forget-me-nots. Oddly enough, mine isn't in full sun, but it still thrives for some reason. It is in a half sun spot and is very, very happy. It does produce a lot of seeds, but I cut them off and throw them out whenever I remember to. I save some as well and have found they make a nice "instant" present for garden visitors. Since they are always in bloom, lots of folks tend to see them and comment.


On Jan 25, 2007, bluespiral from (Zone 7a) wrote:

To collect seed, poppy pods need to be very dry, or they'll rot in storage. It seems that almost as soon as the pods get to just the right, crispy brown stage to collect them for their seed, that they are emptied, so a daily patrol is in order.

All through the summer, there are many opportunities to play orange, blue and cream against each other, but Louise Beebe Wilder, in Adventures in My Garden and Rock Garden, wrote that " of the loveliest things in all my garden experience..." [was P. rupifragum (she used that interchangeably with P. atlanticum) in orange blooming with blues like]...seas of [blue] Flax [Linum perenne]...clumps of pale blue Iris...dim peach-leafed Bellflowers...[with white] Madonna Lilies..."

She cautions to keep thi... read more


On Jun 21, 2006, digirl from Fort Mill, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:

Just threw a box of wildflower seeds in my garden and poppies are growing everywhere. I really like the foliage , kinda fuzzy. Does anyone know how to collect the seeds on this one ?


On May 23, 2005, PurplePansies from Deal, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:

I'd give this plant a negative because plants I bought were mislabeled and I thought this plant would be something else.... but in and of itself its an okay plant. I am not a fan of orange so that also detracts (for me) from its merits but for other reasons it is a fine plant.... blue green foliage with tissue papery (smaller than oriental poppies) blooms in a "soft" orange.... (not salmon but not rusty or dayglow orange either sort of a orange juice orange.....)..... plants don't seem to last long in the vase.... easy to grow and easy to grow from seed.... will bloom in the second year.....


On May 22, 2005, saya from Heerlen,
Netherlands (Zone 8b) wrote:

This perennial poppy is easy to sow and very reliable. It is also continuous blooming untill late summer even early autumn, special if you remove the spent flowers. Very pretty...blooms are elegant waving on 60 cm stems and are 9 cm across. Even in a rainy summer they perform well..don't get floppy at all.
Mind though during deadheading....dirt-marks of its sap cannot be washed away in the laundry..maybe a potential dye plant..?


On Mar 5, 2005, balvenie from Marysville, WA (Zone 7a) wrote:

One of the easiest to grow here.Constant flush of bloom all summer.


On Jan 17, 2005, LilyLover_UT from Ogden, UT (Zone 5b) wrote:

Easy to grow from seed. It also self-sows. This perennial poppy blooms the first year if started early indoors. Mine bloomed off and on for most of the summer.