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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  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full sun

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

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
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:MichaelMaggs
   
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 Jun to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, beetles, self.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.

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


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

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].
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].
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.
Propagation
Seed - sow spring or autumn in situ[200].
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 :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Argemone albifloraWhite Prickly Poppy, Bluestem pricklypoppy01
Argemone mexicanaPrickly Poppy, Mexican pricklypoppy13
Chelidonium majusGreater Celandine, Swallow Wort, Greater Celandine13
Corydalis ambigua 13
Corydalis aureaScrambled Eggs02
Corydalis cava 03
Corydalis edulis 10
Corydalis falconeri 00
Corydalis govaniana 02
Corydalis incisa 11
Corydalis intermedia 01
Corydalis juncea 10
Corydalis ochotensis 10
Corydalis pallida 10
Corydalis solidaFumewort, Spring fumewort13
Corydalis ternataThree-Leaf Corydalis02
Corydalis vaginans 01
Corydalis yanhusuoYan Hu Suo03
Dicentra canadensisSquirrel Corn12
Dicentra cucullariaDutchman's Breeches02
Dicentra spectabilisBleeding Heart, Japanese Bleeding Heart, Common Bleeding Heart10
Eschscholzia californicaCalifornian Poppy13
Glaucium flavumHorned Poppy, Yellow hornpoppy21
Macleaya cordataPlume Poppy01
Meconopsis aculeata 12
Meconopsis grandisBlue Poppy10
Meconopsis napaulensisHimalayan Poppy11
Papaver argemonePrickly Poppy, Long pricklyhead poppy01
Papaver dubiumLong-Head Poppy, Blindeyes01
Papaver nudicauleArctic Poppy, Icelandic poppy11
12
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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
 
Elizabeth H.
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.

Trevor P.
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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