Long-headed Poppy

Papaver dubium L.

Family: Papaveraceae.

Names:

Long-headed Poppy

Other names:

Long haired Poppy

Summary:

A softly hairy, lobed leaf annual poppy with 5, evenly red overlapping petals and violet anthers from September to November.

Description:

Cotyledons:

Two. The cotyledon is 4 to 5 mm long, lance shaped, and usually less than 1 mm wide, hairless, sessile and with a pointed tip. The seedling has a very short hypocotyl and no epicotyl.

First Leaves:

The leaves grow singly, the first being oval with a pointed tip, 2 to 5 mm long in the blade with a petiole slightly shorter, and hairless. The first two leaves are almost circular and have smooth margins while later leaves are lobed.

Leaves:

Alternate, forms a rosette. As the plant develops the leaves become more elongated and more deeply lobed and hairy.
Petiole - On the lower leaves. Closely pressed hairs.
Blade - Pinnately lobed almost to the midrib. Lobes are narrowly oblong and may be lobed again. Tip rounded. Sides lobed. Base tapered to squarish. Dense, soft hairs.
Stem leaves - 70 to 150 mm long and the upper leaves shorter. Upper leaves are sessile or have very short petioles.

Stems:

Erect, circular in cross section, up to 600 mm tall, branch from the base and along their length. Dense, soft hairs. Milky sap. Droop after flowering.

Flower head:

Single flowers at the ends of the stems that are covered with short, low lying hairs.

Flowers:

Red, 70 to 100 mm in diameter.
Ovary - Rounded. No style.
Sepals - 2, concave, overlapping, fall off early.
Petals - 4, large, red to orange without a conspicuous dark spot at the base, 30 mm long, overlapping. Obtuse tip.
Stamens - Many.
Anthers - Violet.

Fruit:

The capsule is elongated, cylindrical and 15 to 25 mm long x 10 mm wide with 6-10 ray like ridges at the top. Smooth and hairless. Seeds released through pores at the top of the capsule below the stigmatic disk.

Seeds:

Many, kidney shaped to spherical, 0.5-1 mm diameter, Surface dimpled, ridged, hairless and with a tiny, network pattern on the surface.

Roots:

Taproot.

Key Characters:

Stems hairy. Leaves hairy and don't clasp the stem. Capsule hairless and oblong. Petals red without a conspicuous dark spot at the base. Filaments subulate.

Biology:

Life cycle:

Annual. Germination occurs from autumn to spring.

Physiology:

Produces alkaloids.

Reproduction:

By seed.

Flowering times:

Spring in western NSW.
September to November in SA.

Seed Biology and Germination:

Vegetative Propagules:

None.

Hybrids:

Allelopathy:

Population Dynamics and Dispersal:

Spread by seed.

Origin and History:

Europe. South east Asia. North Africa.

Distribution:

ACT, NSW, SA, TAS, VIC.
Common in the South and parts of the North-West of Tasmania.

Courtesy Australia's Virtual Herbarium.

Habitats:

Climate:

Temperate.

Soil:

Sandy creek beds.

Plant Associations:

Significance:

Beneficial:

Ornamental.

Detrimental:

It is a weed of crops, particularly commercial poppy crops, and also occurs in waste land. It is not normally competitive or a problem in crops other than Opium Poppy.
Weed of cultivated areas and disturbed areas.

Toxicity:

Possibly toxic. Contains alkaloids but not morphine.

Legislation:

None.

Management and Control:

Thresholds:

Eradication strategies:

Herbicide resistance:

Biological Control:

Related plants:

Bristle Poppy (Papaver aculeatum)
Field Poppy (Papaver rhoeas) is similar to Long-headed Poppy with red flowers but usually has a dark area at the base of the petal and sub globular seed capsules.
Opium Poppy (Papaver somniferum ssp. somniferum)
Pale Poppy (Papaver argemone)
Rough Poppy (Papaver hybridum) has a bristly seed capsule.
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). P10, 197-198. Photos.

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

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

Cunningham, G.M., Mulham, W.E., Milthorpe, P.L. and Leigh, J.H. (1992). Plants of Western New South Wales. (Inkata Press, Melbourne). P313.

Everist, S.L. (1974). Poisonous Plants of Australia. (Angus and Robertson, Sydney). P566.

Hyde-Wyatt, B.H. and Morris, D.I. (1975). Tasmanian weed handbook. (Tasmanian Department of Agriculture, Hobart, Tasmania). P98-99. Diagram.

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). #927.3.

Wilding, J.L. et al. (1987). Crop weeds. (Inkata Press, Melbourne). P128. Diagrams. Photos.

Acknowledgments:

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