Popular Poppy Varieties: Types Of Poppies For The Garden

Red Poppy Flower

Image by Lemanieh

Poppies add a splash of color to the flower bed, they’re easy to grow, and there are hundreds of poppy varieties to choose from. With so many different poppy plants available, the biggest problem for gardeners is narrowing down the selection!

Choosing Poppies for the Garden

Poppies belong to the Papaveraceae family and are
represented by many different species and varieties of poppy. Some species of
Papaveraceae grow wild and are weed-like in appearance, and others are shrubs.
When trying to choose flowering poppies for the garden, we can narrow the
choice by focusing on some of the more popular types of poppies:

Corn Poppy

Corn poppy (Papaver rhoeas) is an easy-to-grow annual that blooms in spring or early summer. It comes in a variety of colors including red, white, yellow, pink, salmon, and lilac. These poppy varieties include the traditional Red Flanders poppy, which gained popularity due to the WW1 remembrance poem, In Flanders Fields, by J. McCrae.

The popular Shirley poppy has crinkled silky flower petals. Try Angel’s Choir for a gorgeous double flower in pastel shades of coral, peach, and apricot or Pandora for midsized double or semi-double flowers in sultry shades of rose and red streaked with gray.

Oriental Poppy

Oriental varieties of poppy (Papaver orientale) are best known for their gigantic blooms, with some flowers reaching 9 to 10 inches (23-25 cm.) across. Oriental poppies are perennials which are winter hardy in colder climates. Flowers come in a multitude of colors, many of which have a blotch of black at the base of each petal. This species blooms in late spring or early summer.

Try Goliath for
its huge traditionally shaped orange-red flowers. Interesting varieties that
produce smaller ruffled blooms include Central
Park
(deep reddish purple with black center) and Patty’s Plum (purplish plum with lavender gray centers.)

Opium Poppy

Long grown for its medicinal properties, opium
poppy flowers
(Papaver soniferum)
are available in a wide range of colors and flowering types. Drama Queen, one of the fringed poppy
varieties, has frilly crimson and indigo petals with a pale green pollen
center. Dried opium poppy seed pods are also popular in floral arrangements.

Unfortunately, opium types of poppies may be illegal to grow
in some locales. Be sure to check the laws in your region before attempting to
grow these poppy plants.

California Poppy

Native to the west coast of the United States, these varieties of poppies produce blooms in shades of cream, yellow, orange, pink, and purple. A showpiece variety, California Watermelon Heaven’s crepe paper petals are a splash of watermelon pink highlighted by a pale cream center.

Due to their shorter height, some varieties of California poppies (Eschscholzia californica) make good choices for container plants. Many California poppies are grown as annuals even though this species is considered a perennial.

Himalayan Poppy

Renowned for its true-blue flowers, Himalayan
poppies
(Meconopsis betonicifolia)
are harder to cultivate than most species. Their growing requirements stem from
their origins high in the Himalayan mountains and include an evenly moist, but
well-drained soil and dappled shade. They tend to be short-lived perennials.

Iceland poppy

Although the Iceland poppy (Papaver nudicaule) is from the Papaver
genus, it is one of the harder poppies to cultivate. They are not heat tolerant
and, even though they are perennials, they may need to be grown as annuals
throughout much of the United States.

They range in color from whites and yellows to various
pastel shades of pinks and orange. As compared to other types of poppies,
Iceland poppies have a longer vase life. Thus, they make excellent cut
flowers
.

This article was last updated on 10/27/21
Read more about Poppies

Poppies add a splash of color to the flower bed, they’re easy to grow, and there are hundreds of poppy varieties to choose from. With so many different poppy plants available, the biggest problem for gardeners is narrowing down the selection!

Choosing Poppies for the Garden

Poppies belong to the Papaveraceae family and are
represented by many different species and varieties of poppy. Some species of
Papaveraceae grow wild and are weed-like in appearance, and others are shrubs.
When trying to choose flowering poppies for the garden, we can narrow the
choice by focusing on some of the more popular types of poppies:

Corn Poppy

Corn poppy (Papaver rhoeas) is an easy-to-grow annual that blooms in spring or early summer. It comes in a variety of colors including red, white, yellow, pink, salmon, and lilac. These poppy varieties include the traditional Red Flanders poppy, which gained popularity due to the WW1 remembrance poem, In Flanders Fields, by J. McCrae.

The popular Shirley poppy has crinkled silky flower petals. Try Angel’s Choir for a gorgeous double flower in pastel shades of coral, peach, and apricot or Pandora for midsized double or semi-double flowers in sultry shades of rose and red streaked with gray.

Oriental Poppy

Oriental varieties of poppy (Papaver orientale) are best known for their gigantic blooms, with some flowers reaching 9 to 10 inches (23-25 cm.) across. Oriental poppies are perennials which are winter hardy in colder climates. Flowers come in a multitude of colors, many of which have a blotch of black at the base of each petal. This species blooms in late spring or early summer.

Try Goliath for
its huge traditionally shaped orange-red flowers. Interesting varieties that
produce smaller ruffled blooms include Central
Park
(deep reddish purple with black center) and Patty’s Plum (purplish plum with lavender gray centers.)

Opium Poppy

Long grown for its medicinal properties, opium
poppy flowers
(Papaver soniferum)
are available in a wide range of colors and flowering types. Drama Queen, one of the fringed poppy
varieties, has frilly crimson and indigo petals with a pale green pollen
center. Dried opium poppy seed pods are also popular in floral arrangements.

Unfortunately, opium types of poppies may be illegal to grow
in some locales. Be sure to check the laws in your region before attempting to
grow these poppy plants.

California Poppy

Native to the west coast of the United States, these varieties of poppies produce blooms in shades of cream, yellow, orange, pink, and purple. A showpiece variety, California Watermelon Heaven’s crepe paper petals are a splash of watermelon pink highlighted by a pale cream center.

Due to their shorter height, some varieties of California poppies (Eschscholzia californica) make good choices for container plants. Many California poppies are grown as annuals even though this species is considered a perennial.

Himalayan Poppy

Renowned for its true-blue flowers, Himalayan
poppies
(Meconopsis betonicifolia)
are harder to cultivate than most species. Their growing requirements stem from
their origins high in the Himalayan mountains and include an evenly moist, but
well-drained soil and dappled shade. They tend to be short-lived perennials.

Iceland poppy

Although the Iceland poppy (Papaver nudicaule) is from the Papaver
genus, it is one of the harder poppies to cultivate. They are not heat tolerant
and, even though they are perennials, they may need to be grown as annuals
throughout much of the United States.

They range in color from whites and yellows to various
pastel shades of pinks and orange. As compared to other types of poppies,
Iceland poppies have a longer vase life. Thus, they make excellent cut
flowers
.

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