Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Papaver somniferum subsp. setigerum

4 large pinkish mauve petals with purple-black spots at the base

Introduced plant - origin: native of Europe and the Mediterranean

Family - Papaveraceae

Common name - Opium Poppy, Wild Poppy

Flowers and fruit -  Cup-shaped flowers, 4 paper thin pink to pale violet with purple-black spots at the base. Two hairy green sepals shed as the flower opens. The fruit is a hairless globose capsule 1 to 1.5cm wide with 7 or 8 ray-like ridges at the top. On maturity, pores beneath the ridges open, releasing the seeds. Flowering period is spring.

Leaves and stems - Leaves are spear-shaped with toothed margins, a basal rosette and stem-hugging leaves higher on the plant. Leaves are light green to blue-green with scattered hairs. Stems have long stiff white hairs.

Habit and habitat - Papaver somniferum subsp. setigerum is a bluish-green fast growing erect annual herb up to about 1mt tall, but more often to 70cm. It is a widespread weed on roadsides and disturbed areas.
Stiff white hairs on stems

Growth habit of Papaver somniferum subsp. setigerum