COMMON POPPY

CORN POPPY, FIELD POPPY, FLANDERS POPPY, RED POPPY

Papaver rhoeas

Poppy Family [Papaveraceae]  

month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8Aug month8sep month8sept month8Oct

status
statusZarchaeophyte
 
flower
flower8red
 
inner
inner8brown
 
morph
morph8actino
 
petals
petalsZ4
 
stem
stem8round
 
stem
stem8milkysap stem8milkylatex
orange
toxicity
toxicityZlowish
 

24th June 2011, embankment, Carnforth. Photo: © RWD
Flowers bright scarlet and often with a black blotch at the base. Sometimes the flowers are other colours: white, pink, mauvish or even variegated.


16th Aug 2005, Cold Heindle, Barnsley Canal. Photo: © RWD
Flowers with 4 petals, 50 to 100mm across.


7th Aug 2007, Martin Mere, Burscough Bridge, Wigan. Photo: © RWD


13th Aug 2007, Chesterfield Canal. Photo: © RWD


18th June 2012, sand-pit, Marshside, Southport, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The plant is medium height about 60cm high (up to 80cm). Hairs usually patent (sticking out).


7th Aug 2007, Martin Mere, Burscough Bridge, Wigan. Photo: © RWD
The un-opened flower-heads droop (on both Common Poppy and on the larger [15cm wide] but otherwise similar Oriental Poppy).


18th June 2012, sand-pit, Marshside, Southport, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
A flower-head about to open.


18th June 2012, sand-pit, Marshside, Southport, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Flower-heads also covered in hairs (sometimes not patent).


18th June 2012, sand-pit, Marshside, Southport, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Flower-head with pimples where the hairs emanate.


18th June 2012, sand-pit, Marshside, Southport, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
This specimen has the usual blackish splodges in the centre of the flower.


29th June 2014, sand-pit, Marshside, Southport, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Anthers are dark-purple and numerous. The stigma is the pale-green disc on top, which has between 4 and 20 brownish-purple radial rays.


29th June 2014, sand-pit, Marshside, Southport, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Tje multiple concolorous anthers and the rayed stigma disc on top.


1st Aug 2008, Rufford Branch Leeds & L/pool canal. Photo: © RWD
The petals have dropped off leaving the developing seed-head. The number of rays on the stigma varies from 8 to 12, but can be as low as 5 and as high as 18; this specimen having few than most.


13th Aug 2007, Chesterfield Canal. Photo: © RWD
A riper seed-head, which is fatter. The stigma cap is still tightly shut on the glaucous-green cap beneath, trapping the developing seeds within.


29th June 2014, sand-pit, Marshside, Southport, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Hairs are long but sparse on the pedicels (flower stalks) of Common Poppy.


29th June 2014, sand-pit, Marshside, Southport, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
There is a characteristic narrow part just below the seed-head.


29th June 2014, sand-pit, Marshside, Southport, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The stigma in close-up, with a stray seed with pappus belonging to a different species caught on the fibrous brown rays.


27th July 2012, sand-pit, Marshside, Southport, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The seed-head ripens brown.


27th July 2012, sand-pit, Marshside, Southport, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
And the stigma cap lifts off the cup-shape beneath supported by numerous struts. The tiny seeds within are now able to escape into the wild when the capsule is shaken in the wind like a pepper pot. This is the only UK Poppy which has a hairless and flat-topped seed-head (when ripe and brown). The ripe seed-head is ≤20mm.


1st Aug 2008, Rufford Branch Leeds & L/pool canal. Photo: © RWD
The leaves have pointed lobes.


Hybridizes with : Long-Headed Poppy (Papaver dubium) to produce Papaver × hungaricum for which it is sometimes mistakenly identified when specimens have slightly differing characteristics from the norm for Common Poppy; but this hybrid is only (?) found in Southern England, and is sterile.

Many similarities to : Oriental Poppy (Papaver pseudoorientale) but that is taller (t5o 1m) and has larger flowers (150mm across) which are pale pink to orange-red and with a similar but larger black splodge in the centre but the seed-capsule is widest near the top and also much tapers much narrower towards the base with an overall shape like a flower vase. These flowers also have three sepals.

It is a commonly grown in English Cottage Gardens and sold at garden centres under the name Shirley Poppy. A milky (sometimes yellow) latex oozes from broken stems. It is an archaeophyte.

This is the Poppy that sprang up in continental Europe after bombing in the war and which the Poppy that the Royal British Legion attempt to replicate in their Remembrance Day Poppies. It is the County Flower of Essex and Norfolk.

ANTHOCYANINS


 The red colour of the petals is said to be due to an anthocyanin dye called Mecocyanin which has two glucose units attached in series to Cyanidin.

A blue glycosidic anthocyanin based upon Pelargonidin is said to be responsible, together with the above MecoCyanin, for the deep purple parts of the petals by subtractive colour)

A ISOQUINOLINE ALKALOID

Rhoeadine, which obtains its name from the specific epithet part of the scientific name for this poppy 'rhoeas', is one of the alkaloids contained within the Common Poppy. If Common Poppy is ingested it presents the sufferer with same symptoms as those manifested by opium poisoning. It is an isoquinoline alkaloid similar to Berberine and Protopine. Note that Rhoedine has a 7-membered ring (the third from left) containing a heterocyclic nitrogen atom.

When Rhoeadine is decomposed by HCl it yields a red coloured substance that has intense calorific value. See Red Inimium Salt.

A BISBENZYLISOQUINOLINE ALKALOID

Protopine, which is also known as Fumarine since it is found in Common Ramping Fumitory (which is also in the Papaveraceae Family). is another bisbenzylisoquinoline alkaloid and acts as a smooth muscle relaxant and sedative. It is found within Common Poppy. Protopine has a 10-membered ring in the centre which also contains a heterocyclic nitrogen atom. But you could think of it as two fused 6-membered rings where the central bond has been broken.


  Papaver rhoeas  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Papaveraceae  

Distribution
family8Poppy family8Papaveraceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Papaver
Papaver
(Poppies)

COMMON POPPY

CORN POPPY, FIELD POPPY, FLANDERS POPPY, RED POPPY

Papaver rhoeas

Poppy Family [Papaveraceae]  

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