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A poppy is any of a number of colorful flowers, typically with one per stem, belonging to the poppy family. They include a number of attractive wildflower species with colorful flowers found growing singularly or in large groups; many species are also grown in gardens. Those that are grown in gardens include large plants used in a mixed herbaceous border and small plants that are grown in rock or alpine gardens.

Poppies on Lake Geneva in Montreux.

The flower color of poppy species include: white, pink, yellow, orange, red, and blue; some have dark center markings. The species that have been cultivated for many years also include many other colors ranging from dark solid colors to soft pastel shades. The center of the flower has a whorl of stamens surrounded by a cup- or bowl-shaped collection of four to six petals. Prior to blooming, the petals are crumpled in bud, and as blooming finishes, the petals often lie flat before falling away.

The pollen of the oriental poppy, Papaver orientale, is dark blue. The pollen of the field poppy or corn poppy (Papaver rhoeas) is dark blue to grey. Bees will use poppies as a pollen source.

Poppies may be found in the genera:



All species of poppies are attractive and most are cultivated as ornamental garden plants. A few species have other uses, principally as sources of drugs and foods. One species is so widely used, for both drugs and food, that its world production is monitored by international agencies. That species is the opium poppy, Papaver somniferum. It is grown for opium and opiates obtained from it, poppy seed for use in cooking and baking, poppyseed oil for both culinary and other uses, and as an ornamental garden plant.

Gallery of poppy images


Much of this article is copied from w:Poppy under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.


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