Field Poppy

Papaver rhoeas L.

Family: Papaveraceae.

Names:

Field Poppy

Other names:

Corn Poppy.
Field Poppy
Red Poppy.

Summary:

An erect, bristly haired plant with few branches much divided leaves and showy red, 5 petalled, nodding flowers from September to November and a large, smooth, rounded seed capsule.

Description:

Cotyledons:

Two. Short but slender, 2-4 mm long x 0.5 mm wide. Tip pointed to rounded. Side parallel. Base squarish. No petiole.

Leaves:

Petiole - On lower leaves only. May be winged at the base (Auld).
Blade - 30-150 mm long. Deeply lobed to the midrib. Lobes have coarse, acute tipped or rounded teeth. End lobe is egg shaped and much longer than the side lobes. Hairy.
Stem leaves - Usually without a petiole.

Stems:

Erect, up to 1000 mm tall, sparsely branched. Bristly hairs. Milky sap.

Flower head:

Single flowers that are usually nodding on bristle haired stalks. Hairs usually spreading and only rarely low lying.

Flowers:

Red or white.
Ovary - Rounded. No style.
Sepals - 2, concave, overlapping, fall off early.
Petals - 4. Circular, 30-45 mm diameter, red to crimson or rarely white. Some varieties may have a dark blotch at the base.
Stamens - Many. Filaments thread-like. Purple.
Anthers - Bluish.

Fruit:

Almost globular capsule 10-20 mm diameter, smooth, hairless, rounded at the base, disk on top with 8-18 sections. Lobes at the edge of the disk slightly overlapping. Seeds released through pores at the top of the capsule below the stigmatic disk.

Seeds:

Many, tiny, kidney shaped with a network pattern on the surface.

Roots:

Taproot.

Key Characters:

Stems hairy. Leaves hairy and don't clasp the stem. Capsule hairless and sub globular. Petals red without a conspicuous dark spot at the base. Filaments filiform (thread like). Peduncles with spreading hairs.

Biology:

Life cycle:

Annual or biennial. Flowers September to November.

Physiology:

Produces alkaloids but not morphine.

Reproduction:

By seeds.

Flowering times:

September to November in SA.
September in Perth.
Spring in WA.

Seed Biology and Germination:

Vegetative Propagules:

None.

Hybrids:

Allelopathy:

Population Dynamics and Dispersal:

Spread by seeds and intentional planting.

Origin and History:

Europe. Western Asia.
A garden escape.

Distribution:

ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, WA.

Courtesy Australia's Virtual Herbarium.

Habitats:

Climate:

Temperate.

Soil:

Plant Associations:

Significance:

Beneficial:

Ornamental.
Used to commemorate Remembrance Day.

Detrimental:

Weed of roadsides and disturbed areas.

Toxicity:

May be toxic if consumed in large quantities in hay or mixed fodders or where heads and or seeds are concentrated. Cattle and horses have been affected in Europe. Rarely a problem in the field.

Symptoms:

Excitement, increased respiration rate, stoppage of digestion, coma but rarely death.

Legislation:

None.

Management and Control:

Thresholds:

Eradication strategies:

Herbicide resistance:

Biological Control:

Related plants:

Bristle Poppy (Papaver aculeatum)
Long-headed Poppy (Papaver dubium) is similar but doesn't have a dark blotch at the base of the petals.
Opium Poppy (Papaver somniferum ssp. somniferum)
Pale Poppy (Papaver argemone)
Rough Poppy (Papaver hybridum)
Small flowered Poppy (Papaver somniferum ssp. setigerum)

Plants of similar appearance:

References:

Auld, B.A. and Medd R.W. (1992). Weeds. An illustrated botanical guide to the weeds of Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne). P197.

Black, J.M. (1965). Flora of South Australia. (Government Printer, Adelaide, South Australia). P366. Diagram of seed capsule.

Burbidge, N.T. and Gray, M. (1970). Flora of the Australian Capital Territory. (Australian National University Press, Canberra). P177.

Everist, S.L. (1974). Poisonous Plants of Australia. (Angus and Robertson, Sydney). P567.

Gardner, G.A. and Bennetts, H.W. (1956). The toxic plants of Western Australia. (West Australian Newspapers Ltd, Perth). P30.

Hussey, B.M.J., Keighery, G.J., Cousens, R.D., Dodd, J. and Lloyd, S.G. (1997). Western Weeds. A guide to the weeds of Western Australia. (Plant Protection Society of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia). P194.

Lamp, C. and Collet, F. (1990). A Field Guide to Weeds in Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne).

Lazarides, M. and Hince, B. (1993). CSIRO handbook of economic plants of Australia. (CSIRO, Melbourne). #927.5.

Marchant, N.G., Wheeler, J.R., Rye, B.L., Bennett, E.M., Lander, N.S. and Macfarlane, T.D. (1987). Flora of the Perth Region. (Western Australian Herbarium, Department of Agriculture, Western Australia). P68.

Acknowledgments:

Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information.