Papaveraceae Family

Poppy Identification

Poppies are grown throughout the country as both perennials and annuals. They are found frequently in wildflower gardens and flower gardens. Poppy heights vary from 5 inches to 4 feet tall. Most poppies grow in clumps of leaves or mounds and the flowers are hidden in the leaves. Other poppies grow more openly and free from a smaller base or stem. Most poppy leaves are bluish-green. They are lobed and covered with tiny hairs. After the petals fall away, large round seed pods emerge.

Types of Poppies

There are over 50 different varieties of poppies. Here are some examples:

Oriental poppy

Red poppy

Opium poppy

Allegro poppy

Celandine poppy

Prickly poppy

  • Matilija poppy and relatives
  • Pygmy poppy
  • Wind poppy
  • Desert bearpaw poppy
  • Tulip poppy
  • Tree poppy
  • Opium Poppies

    Opium poppies have been grown for centuries to produce large quantities of latex that can be found in the poppy fruit. When the latex on the pods of the poppy dry, opium is created. Opium is a source of a lot of problems in the world, but it is also an important medicine. The United states declared Opium poppies illegal in 1942, with the Opium Poppy Control Act of 1942. Opium poppies can still be seen in old ornamental gardens throughout he world. However, it is illegal to grow them in the U.S.

    Parts of a Poppy Flower

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    Poppies Throughout History

    The History of the Poppy