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Papaver rhoeas - L.

Common Name Corn Poppy, Field Poppy, Shirley Poppy
Family Papaveraceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards This plant is toxic to mammals, though the toxicity is low[76]. The seed is not toxic[76].
Habitats A common weed of cultivated land and waste places, avoiding acid soils[17]. Becoming far less frequent on cultivated land due to modern agricultural practices.
Range Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to N. Africa and temperate Asia.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full sun
Papaver rhoeas Corn Poppy, Field Poppy, Shirley Poppy


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Koeh-101.jpg
Papaver rhoeas Corn Poppy, Field Poppy, Shirley Poppy
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Summary

Bloom Color: Red. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Late spring. Form: Upright or erect.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Papaver rhoeas is a ANNUAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from June to August, and the seeds ripen from August to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees, flies, beetles. The plant is self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers  Leaves  Oil  Seed
Edible Uses: Colouring  Oil

Seed - raw or cooked. Much used as a flavouring in cakes, bread, fruit salads etc[4, 5, 21, 183], it imparts a very nice nutty flavour[K]. The seeds are rather small, but they are contained in fairly large seed pods and so are easy to harvest. The seeds are perfectly safe to eat, containing none of the alkaloids associated with other parts of the plant[238]. Leaves - raw or cooked[7, 52]. Used like spinach or as a flavouring in soups and salads[132, 183]. The leaves should not be used after the flower buds have formed[7]. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. An edible oil is obtained from the seed[2, 4]. Said to be an excellent substitute for olive oil[4, 183], it can be used in salad dressings or for cooking[2]. A syrup can be prepared from the scarlet flower petals, it is used in soups, gruels etc[4, 183]. A red dye from the petals is used as a food flavouring, especially in wine[183].

Medicinal Uses

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Anodyne  Cancer  Emmenagogue  Emollient  Expectorant  Hypnotic  Sedative  Tonic


The flowers of corn poppy have a long history of medicinal usage, especially for ailments in the elderly and children[244, 254]. Chiefly employed as a mild pain reliever and as a treatment for irritable coughs, it also helps to reduce nervous over-activity[254]. Unlike the related opium poppy (P. somniferum) it is non-addictive[244]. However, the plant does contain alkaloids, which are still under investigation, and so should only be used under the supervision of a qualified herbalist[244]. The flowers and petals are anodyne, emollient, emmenagogue, expectorant, hypnotic, slightly narcotic and sedative[4, 7, 9, 13, 46, 53]. An infusion is taken internally in the treatment of bronchial complaints and coughs, insomnia, poor digestion, nervous digestive disorders and minor painful conditions[9, 238]. The flowers are also used in the treatment of jaundice[218]. The petals are harvested as the flowers open and are dried for later use[238]. They should be collected on a dry day and can be dried or made into a syrup[4]. The latex in the seedpods is narcotic and slightly sedative[240]. It can be used in very small quantities, and under expert supervision, as a sleep-inducing drug[7]. The leaves and seeds are tonic[240]. They are useful in the treatment of low fevers[240]. The plant has anticancer properties[218].

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Other Uses

Dye  Ink  Oil  Pot-pourri

A red dye is obtained from the flowers[7, 46, 61], though it is very fugitive[4]. A syrup made from the petals has been used as a colouring matter for old inks[4, 13, 89]. The red petals are used to add colour to pot-pourri[238].

Special Uses

Attracts Wildlife

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Border, Massing, Seashore, Specimen. Prefers a well-drained sandy loam in a sunny position[1, 200]. Does not do well on wet clay soils but succeeds in most other soils[115]. Plants usually self-sow freely when growing in suitable conditions so long as the soil surface is disturbed[238]. There are several named varieties selected for their ornamental value[200]. A polymorphic species, varying in leaf shape and flower colour[17]. When growing in cereal fields, poppies decrease the yields of nearby cereal plants[18, 20]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits[233]. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Not North American native, Naturalizing, All or parts of this plant are poisonous, Suitable for cut flowers, Suitable for dried flowers.

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Propagation

Seed - sow spring or autumn in situ[200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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Expert comment

Author

L.

Botanical References

17200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

   Thu Dec 30 07:29:17 2004

This plant is found in Malta/Mediterranean basin/Europe

More comprehensive details, medicinal properties, uses, botanical data, plant description and photogallery of high resolutions photos of this plant can be seen on an interesting website about the wild plants of Malta: www.maltawildplants.com

Link: Malta Wild Plants Website and photography by Stephen Mifsud, Malta.

   Feb 3 2011 12:00AM

I'd expect a red dye from Papaver rhoeas petals to be used as a food colouring, not flavouring. Many thanks for a brill website Anthony

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