Commonly known as the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum), this variety of poppy has hairless gray-green foliage, but is best known for its showy double blooms, which can be up to 7 inches across. Flowers are available in white, pink, red and purple and usually bloom in late spring. Opium, heroin and morphine products are derived from the sap of the green seed capsules. When these capsules are ripe, they become darker and, when opened, contain the poppy seed used in baking.
Like other poppies, this variety is a perennial that is often planted as an annual. It will grow in any region. The opium poppy requires full sun and moderate to regular water.
Hens and Chickens
This unusually named variety produces a rose-colored bloom with lavender in the middle on a stem that can grow to 4 feet. The name is derived from the shape of the seed pod, which consists of one large pod surrounded by a group of smaller pods. The pods are often used in dried-flower arrangements.
The giant opium poppy is so named for its large seed pod, which offers as much interest to a garden as the bloom. The flower is pale lilac with purple highlights near the center. These plants may grow to 7 feet, and the seed pod can be as large as a small orange or a tennis ball. The blooms may be as large as 7 inches across.
This heirloom opium poppy produces a large, white bloom on a single stem.The flower is double-petaled and has a light-green center. Blooms are ruffly around the edges and early bloomers. The pods on this variety are elongated, rather than round.