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Papaver spp.


With their glorious crepe-paperlike blooms in a wide variety of brilliant hues, annual poppies add a ton of color to the garden. They're easy to grow and often self-seed, allowing them to appear year after year. It's best to grow them from seed directly in the ground as most do not transplant well. They work well in cottage-style landscapes scattered among late spring-blooming perennials.

Plant Type:
Plant Height:
1-4 feet tall
Plant Width:
6-12 inches wide
Landscape Uses:
Containers,Beds & Borders
Special Features:
Flowers,Drought Tolerant
Top Varieties

Papaver somniferum is the largest annual poppy, reaching more than 3 feet tall. In summer, it bears flowers in shades of pink, lilac, mauve, red, or white, followed by large seed pods that are good for dried arrangements. Use the dried seeds in baking, too.
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Papaver rhoeas grows up to 3 feet tall and 1 foot wide. In summer, it bears brilliant orange-red flowers, sometimes marked with a black base on the petals. It is also called field poppy, a reference to its tendency to naturalize in open fields.
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Papaver croceum is a short-lived perennial usually grown as an annual. It features yellow, white, orange, or pink flowers in spring and summer. It grows 1 foot tall and is often also called Papaver nudicaule. Zones 2-8
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Papaver rhoeas 'Mother of Pearl' is a variety of corn poppy also sometimes called 'Fairy Wings'. It produces delicate pink or lilac flowers.
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Papaver somniferum 'Peony Flowered' is a breadseed poppy variety with large, frilly double flowers in pink, salmon, purple, maroon, or white.
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Papaver rhoeas Shirley Series are corn poppy selections with single, semidouble, or double blooms in shades of yellow, pink, rose, orange, or red. Many sport bicolor or picotee petals.
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Garden Plans
Plant It With
Shasta daisy

The sparkling white single daisies of 'Alaska' Shasta daisy echo the flower shape of poppies while providing a contrast in color and foliage -- especially with strong-color poppies.


With erect spikes of bright blue flowers, veronica works well planted with annual poppies, providing a vertical accent and color contrast.

Blanket flower

The yellow, maroon, and red daisylike blooms of blanket flower combine nicely with annual poppy varieties in the same color ranges.