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Poppy Flower Colors

By Tarah Damask ; Updated September 21, 2017
Poppies are not limited to orange but are available in a wide array of vibrant colors.
poppy image by Bradlee Mauer from Fotolia.com

Poppy flower colors are available in a wide array of options. Different poppy varieties offer hues across the spectrum, including the ever-coveted blue flower color. Whether your gardening space needs a bright, warm color like a vivid orange or a softer, cool color like blue, examine your poppy options for the added interest you are looking for. Remember to plant poppies in the full sun and well-drained soil they need for proper growth.

Cool Colors

Certain varieties of poppies come in cool colors or colors that appear cold to the touch like blues and violets. Though California poppy (Eschscholzia californica) blossoms display warm colors, their foliage displays a cool blue-green color unlike the typical green associated with most poppy varieties, adding a well-balanced color range to your gardening space. While poppies are most prevalently available in warm colors, the Himalayan blue poppy fulfills the difficult-to-find true blue color gardeners search for, according to the University of Illinois Extension. One of very few "true blue" flowers in the world, Himalayan blue poppies (Meconopsis 'Lingholm') maintain a solid blue color provided they are kept in acid soil; the pigment called delphinidin within the poppy depends upon an acid environment for successful production of a blue color; if soil is not acid, Himalayan blue poppies appear as a cool purple-pink.

Warm Colors

Warm-colored poppies are those that display blooms in colors that appear hot to the touch like oranges and reds. Oriental poppies display warm-hued petals in orange, salmon/pink and scarlet red often with black centers, according to the Colorado State University Extension. Armenian poppies (P. triniifolium) are smaller than Oriental poppies and display round, melon/orange hued blossoms. Armenian poppies also come in a variety of warm hues like salmon, rose, pink, orange and yellow. Shirley poppy warm colors include orange, red and pink.

Neutral and Combination Colors

Neutral-hued poppies are those that do not appear to take on a temperature; neutrals seem to lack color like grays, creams, whites and browns. Combination colors are those in which more than one color is present in the flower. Oriental poppies (Papaver orientale) are available in pure white and in different varieties of bi-colored petals. Shirley poppies (Papaver rhoeas), also referred to as corn poppies, are available in neutral white and varieties of warm-hued bi-colors.


About the Author


Tarah Damask's writing career began in 2003 and includes experience as a fashion writer/editor for Neiman Marcus, short fiction publications in "North Texas Review," a self-published novel, band biographies, charter school curriculum and articles for various websites. Damask holds a Master of Arts in English and creative writing from the University of North Texas.