Genus:
Papaver L.

Papaver orientale L.

Papaver orientale is a perennial poppy with large, red or orange flowers and bristly leaves. It has been a popular garden plant since it was introduced to western Europe in 1714. Many cultivars are now available, including those with white (P. orientale 'Perry's White'), pink (P. orientale 'Mrs Perry'), deep crimson (P. orientale 'Beauty of Livermere') and purple (P. orientale 'Patty's Plum') flowers. Many cultivated varieties of oriental poppy are hybrids between P. orientale and P. bracteatum.

[UPFC]
Distribution
Biogeografic region: Andean. Colombian departments: Bogotá DC.

[KSP]

Kew Species Profiles

General Description

Papaver orientale is a perennial poppy with large, red or orange flowers and bristly leaves. It has been a popular garden plant since it was introduced to western Europe in 1714. Many cultivars are now available, including those with white (P. orientale 'Perry's White'), pink (P. orientale 'Mrs Perry'), deep crimson (P. orientale 'Beauty of Livermere') and purple (P. orientale 'Patty's Plum') flowers. Many cultivated varieties of oriental poppy are hybrids between P. orientale and P. bracteatum.

Species Profile
Geography and distribution

Native to north-eastern Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and north-western Iran, where it inhabits the sub-alpine and alpine zones.

Plant-collecting in Turkey

One of the earliest plant-collecting expeditions to the east of Turkey was made by Joseph Pitton de Tournefort and Andreas Gundelsheimer, with Claude Aubriet as artist. The team set off from Paris in 1700 and reached Istanbul in early 1701 before sailing along the Black Sea coast to Trebizond (present day Trabzon). From there, they travelled inland, accompanying a caravan of around 600 men and animals for safety, reaching Erzurum on 15 June. During an expedition from there into the mountains, to visit the sources of the Euphrates, they collected seeds of Papaver orientale , which were subsequently grown in Paris, and then sent to England in about 1714.

Description

A long-lived, herbaceous perennial with deep taproots. The leaves are mostly basal, deeply toothed and bristly-hairy. The flowering stems are 30-90 cm tall, without bracts and usually bear a solitary flower. The flowers are red or orange and typically have four petals. The anthers are yellow or pale violet, and there are 8-15 long-ridged stigmas. The fruit is a capsule up to 2 cm long.

A similar species of perennial poppy, Papaver bracteatum , has large, usually six-petalled flowers, with a dark blotch and bracts below the flowers. It comes from north-western Iran and the Caucasus Mountains.

Uses

Papaver orientale is cultivated as an ornamental.

Millennium Seed Bank: Seed storage

The Millennium Seed Bank Partnership aims to save plant life worldwide, focusing on plants under threat and those of most use in the future. Seeds are dried, packaged and stored at a sub-zero temperature in Kew's seed bank vault at Wakehurst.

Description of seeds: Average 1,000 seed weight = 0.2 g Collections stored in the Millennium Seed Bank: Three Seed storage behaviour: Orthodox Germination testing: 100 % germination was achieved on a 1% agar medium, at a temperature of 21°C, on a cycle of 12 hours daylight/12 hours darkness

Cultivation

Papaver orientale is a suitable perennial for planting in long, rough grass and herbaceous borders. After flowering, the stems and leaves can be cut down, and the leaves emerge again in autumn or early spring.

This species at Kew

Oriental poppy can be seen growing in the Duke's Garden and adjacent to the Orangery at Kew, and in the West Mansion Border and Sir Henry Price Memorial Garden at Wakehurst.

Pressed and dried, and alcohol-preserved specimens of Papaver orientale are held in Kew's Herbarium, where they are available to researchers, by appointment. The details of some of these can be seen online in the Herbarium Catalogue.

Distribution
Turkey
Ecology
Mountain meadows and on mountain screes.
Conservation
Not known to be threatened.
Hazards

Contains alkaloids; toxic if eaten hence avoided by grazing animals.

[UPFC]
Use Environmental
Environmental uses.
Use Medicines
Medical uses.

[KSP]
Use
Ornamental.

Native to:

Iran, North Caucasus, Transcaucasus, Turkey

Introduced into:

Afghanistan, Colorado, Finland, Great Britain, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Romania, Sweden, Tadzhikistan, Utah, Uzbekistan, Virginia, Wisconsin

English
Oriental poppy

Papaver orientale L. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status Has image?
15399.000 No
16171.000 No

First published in Sp. Pl.: 508 (1753)

Accepted by

  • Ackerfield, J. (2015). Flora of Colorado: 1-818. BRIT Press.
  • Davis, P.H. (ed.) (1965). Flora of Turkey and the East Aegean Islands 1: 1-567. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh.
  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee (1997). Flora of North America North of Mexico 3: 1-590. Oxford University Press, New York, Oxford.
  • Jonsell, B. (ed.) (2001). Flora Nordica 2: 1-430. The Bergius Foundaton.
  • Korovin, E.P. & Vvedensky, A.I. (eds.) (1955). Flora Uzbekistana 3: 1-824. Izd-va Akademii nauk Uzbekskoi SSR, Tashkent.
  • Lack, H.W. (2019). The discovery and naming of Papaver orientale s.l. (Papaveraceae) with notes on its nomenclature and early cultivation Candollea 74: 47-64.
  • Litvinskaya, S.A. & Murtazaliev, R.A. (2013). Flora of the Northern Caucasus: An Atlas and Identification Book: 1-688. Fiton XXI.
  • Ovczinnikov, P.N. (ed.) (1975). Flora Tadzhikskoi SSR 4: 1-576. Izd-vo Akademii nauk SSSR, Moskva.
  • Takhtajan, A.L. (ed.) in Takhtajan, A.L. (ed.) (2012). Konspekt Flora Kavkaza 3(2): 1-623. Editio Universitatis Petropolitanae.
  • Tutin, T.G. & al. (eds.) (1993). Flora Europaea ed. 2, 1: 1-581. Cambridge University Press.
  • Urziceanu, M. & al. (2020). Updated list of non-native ornamental plants in Romania Contributii Botanice Universitatea "Babes-Bolyai" din Cluj-Napoca 55: 59-82.
  • Werier, D. (2017). Catalogue of the Vascular plants of New York state Memoirs of the Torrey Botanical Club 27: 1-542.
  • Wu, Z. & Raven, P.H. (eds.) (2008). Flora of China 7: 1-499. Science Press (Beijing) & Missouri Botanical Garden Press (St. Louis).

Literature

Kew Species Profiles

  • Goldblatt, P. (1974). Biosystematic studies in Papaver section Oxytona. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 61(2): 264-296.
  • Grey-Wilson, C. (2000). Poppies: the Poppy Family in the Wild and in Cultivation. Batsford, London.
  • The Plant List (2010). Papaver orientale.
  • Tournefort, J.P. de (1717). Relation d'un Voyage du Levant. Paris.

Kew Backbone Distributions

  • Ackerfield, J. (2015). Flora of Colorado: 1-818. BRIT Press.
  • Cullen, J. (1966). Flora Iranica 34: 1-27. Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, Graz.
  • Davis, P.H. (ed.) (1965). Flora of Turkey and the East Aegean Islands 1: 1-567. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh.
  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee (1997). Flora of North America North of Mexico 3: 1-590. Oxford University Press, New York, Oxford.
  • Jonsell, B. (ed.) (2001). Flora Nordica 2: 1-430. The Bergius Foundaton.
  • Korovin, E.P. & Vvedensky, A.I. (eds.) (1955). Flora Uzbekistana 3: 1-824. Izd-va Akademii nauk Uzbekskoi SSR, Tashkent.
  • Litvinskaya, S.A. & Murtazaliev, R.A. (2013). Flora of the Northern Caucasus: An Atlas and Identification Book: 1-688. Fiton XXI.
  • Ovczinnikov, P.N. (ed.) (1975). Flora Tadzhikskoi SSR 4: 1-576. Izd-vo Akademii nauk SSSR, Moskva.
  • Tutin, T.G. & al. (eds.) (1993). Flora Europaea ed. 2, 1: 1-581. Cambridge University Press.
  • Urziceanu, M. & al. (2020). Updated list of non-native ornamental plants in Romania Contributii Botanice Universitatea "Babes-Bolyai" din Cluj-Napoca 55: 59-82.
  • Werier, D. (2017). Catalogue of the Vascular plants of New York state Memoirs of the Torrey Botanical Club 27: 1-542.

Useful Plants and Fungi of Colombia

  • Diazgranados et al. (2021). Catalogue of plants of Colombia. Useful Plants and Fungi of Colombia project. In prep.
  • Diazgranados, M., Allkin, B., Black N., Cámara-Leret, R., Canteiro C., Carretero J., Eastwood R., Hargreaves S., Hudson A., Milliken W., Nesbitt, M., Ondo, I., Patmore, K., Pironon, S., Turner, R., Ulian, T. (2020). World Checklist of Useful Plant Species. Produced by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Knowledge Network for Biocomplexity.
  • GRIN (2021). Germplasm Resources Information Network from the United States Department of Agriculture. https://www.ars-grin.gov/
  • Medicinal Plant Names Services (MPNS) v.10 (2021); http://mpns.kew.org/

  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

  • Kew Science Photographs

    Copyright applied to individual images

  • Kew Species Profiles

    Kew Species Profiles
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

  • Useful Plants and Fungi of Colombia

    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0