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Annual Biennial

Papaver somniferum (Paeoniiflorum Group) 'Black Paeony' (d)

opium poppy 'Black Paeony'

An upright annual, to 90cm tall, with heart-shaped, silvery leaves; the upper ones clasping the stem and with toothed, wavy margins. The fully double flowers have shiny, very dark red-black petals, and are followed by decorative, pepperpot seed pods; good for cutting fresh or dried

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Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
1 year
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Grey Silver
Summer Black Grey Silver Grey Silver
Autumn Grey Silver Grey Silver
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Drought resistance
Yes
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Papaveraceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Columnar upright
Potentially harmful
Harmful if eaten. Wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling
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

Accepted

How to grow

Cultivation

Easy to grow in any well-drained or moist but well-drained soil in full sun or light shade

Propagation

Propagate by seed in situ during spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Gravel garden
  • Wildflower meadow
  • Prairie planting
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

No pruning required

Pests

May be susceptible to aphids

Diseases

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

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