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Posted by tnbella Middle Tn (My Page) on
Tue, May 22, 07 at 22:30

A lady on my street has beautiful poppies blooming. They are tall and have very large pink heads. She did not offer any seed and did notd know the name. After looking at pics on Gardenweb they look like Papaver Poppies. Can you still buy this seed if so where?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: poppies

She did tell me the poppies are perenial.

RE: poppies

Probably Oriental poppies or Icelandic Poppies.
Oriental poppies -- a relative of the Opium poppy -- can be grown from seed but is usually started from a root division. Lots of places sell them and you can probably buy them as plants this time of year. They bloom then die back. Huge, glorious blooms. Georgia O'Keefe painted them.
Icelandics need to be started from seed, preferably in the fall. Icelandic aren't supposed to do well in the heat, but there's a glourious stand of them in front of a house on 11W near Rutledge. I admire them every time I go by. They've been there for several years and the patch increases in size.

Here is a link that might be useful: Info on poppies

RE: poppies

Papaver somniferum, to my knowledge, aren't perennial - but will re-seed, and yes, you can get seed for a whole range of varieties/cultivars - the seeds do not contain any significant amount or any of the "actives" that legalities worry about (sources vary on whether they contain some or none, I've never tested seeds' constituents in a lab myself to say one way or another). The best - for flavour in my opinion - for "bread-seed" poppy seed are those of the P. somniferum species. Most places say it is illegal to grow this species but unless you're growing acres of the things and blatantly harvesting for raw opium, I've never known them to be an issue with local authorities for the average gardener that just loves them for their beautiful flowers and, for some, the subsequent seed for culinary usage. There is one particular cultivar in the species that is in great demand for the dried flower/floral industry because the massive dried heads are stunning in arrangements.

RE: poppies

  • Posted by soeur z6b TN (My Page) on
    Thu, May 24, 07 at 20:42

Papaver is the name for the genus of all true poppies.

P. somniferum is the breadseed poppy, which is a form of the opium poppy. That's why you can flunk a drug screening if you eat a poppy seed muffin. No lie.

P. somniferum comes in whites, pinks, roses, lavenders and so forth. There's a strain called Peony Flowered that is very double and really does look like a peony. They reseed when happy, and you can buy seed.

The other poppy commonly grown in TN is Shirley Poppy, P. rhoeas. This is also a reseeding annual that comes in lovely pastels of white, pink, rose and combinations. You'll also see the bright orange-red wild form of this plant in the median of interstates, planted as a wildflower. It's not native to the US, but it is a wildflower in Europe, where it's called the Corn Poppy because it appears in grainfields. "Corn" over there means grains in general -- wheat, rye, barley, oats and so forth.

If you do have Iceland Poppy, that's P. nudicaule. Colors are different with this species -- yellow, oranges and orangey-reds. For me it acts like an annual or biennial.


RE: poppies

What about the Himalayan blue poppy? Think that would grow in TN it a perennial.

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