Papaver orientale

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Oriental poppy
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Papaveraceae
Genus: Papaver
Species: P. orientale
Binomial name
Papaver orientale
(L.[1] )
Türkenlouis red, highly fringed
Olympia orange
Papillon pink
Cedric Morris salmon pink
Pattys Plum plum

Papaver orientale (Oriental poppy) is a perennial flowering plant[2] native to the Caucasus, northeastern Turkey, and northern Iran.[3]

Oriental poppies throw up a mound of finely cut, hairy foliage in spring. After flowering the foliage dies away entirely, a property that allows their survival in the summer drought of Central Asia. Late-developing plants can be placed nearby to fill the developing gap. Fresh leaves appear with autumn rains.

Cultivation[edit]

Papaver orientale has a hardiness zone of 3-8 average. It usually thrives in light calcareous soil and in full sun or part shade. Seeds are sown after the potential of frost has passed, the average temperature is approximately 21 °C and when soil has thoroughly warmed. The seeds are sown at a depth of about one centimeter, or less as light may stimulate germination. Oriental Poppies do not handle transplanting or over-watering well. Germination period is 10–20 days. Mulch can be used to protect the plant over the winter and cutting off the stem will produce a second flower.

Cultivars[edit]

Aside from its natural brilliant orange-scarlet, since the later 19th century selective breeding for gardens has created a range of colors from clean white with eggplant-black blotches (Barr's White is the standard against which other whites are measured), through clear true pinks and salmon pinks to deep maroons and plum. In addition petals may be creased or fringed, such as Türkenlouis.

Cultivars (those marked agm have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit):-

Name Colour
Aglaja agm[4] salmon pink
Barr's White white
Beauty of Livermere red
Black and White agm[5] white/black
Brilliant red
Carnival white/orange/red
Carousel white/orange picotee
Cedric Morris agm[6] pale pink/black
Effendi agm[7] pale orange
Fatima white/pink picotee
GI Joe red (double)
Helen Elizabeth pink
Indian Chief mahogany red
John III agm[8] orange-red
Karine agm[9] pale pink / red
Name Colour
Khedive agm[10] pale salmon / black
Leuchtfeuer agm[11] orange
Lighthouse agm[12] pale pink/maroon
Maiden's Blush white
Olympia orange
Papillon pink
Patty's Plum pink
Perry's White white
Picotee white/orange picotee
Pinnacle white/red
Royal Wedding white
Türkenlouis red
Watermelon pink

Related species[edit]

Oriental poppies are closely related to the Great scarlet poppy Papaver bracteatum, which can be grown for the commercial extraction of thebaine, a main source for the legal synthesis of opiates. This species, however, does not produce any narcotic alkaloids such as morphine or codeine. Many garden Oriental poppies are actually hybrids between P. bracteatum and P. pseudo-orientale.

References[edit]

Sources[edit]