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Herbaceous Perennial

Papaver orientale
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

oriental poppy

A perennial poppy, to 90cm high, with bristly stems and finely divided, dark green leaves covered with silvery hairs. In early to mid summer, produces pendent buds that straighten and open to large, bowl-shaped, orange-red flowers to 15cm across, with small purple-black blotches at the base of the petals

Other common names
eastern poppy
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Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
1–2 years
Ultimate spread
0.5–1 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Red Orange Green
Autumn
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Papaveraceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy, Clump forming
Genus

Papaver can be annuals, biennials or herbaceous perennials with simple or pinnately divided leaves and short-lived, saucer-shaped, 4-petalled flowers which may be solitary or in racemes

Name status

Correct

How to grow

Cultivation

Will thrive in most soils, as long as there is good drainage, but a moderately fertile, humus-rich soil that is not too acidic is ideal. Position in full sun

Propagation

Propagate by seed, by division in spring, or by root cuttings in late autumn and early winter

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Cut spent flowering stems back to the ground, cut back foliage as it fades

Pests

May be susceptible to aphids

Diseases

May be susceptible to downy mildews, powdery mildews, fungal wilts and verticillium wilt

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