ORIENTAL POPPY

Papaver pseudoorientale

Poppy Family [Papaveraceae]

month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept month8oct

status
statusZneophyte
flower
flower8bicolour
flower
flower8red flower8pink
flower
flower8indigo flower8purple
inner
inner8cream
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ4
stem
stem8round
toxicity
toxicityZmedium

8th June 2016, nr a golf course, Hall Rd, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
A large red poppy, with flowers 10-15cm across and growing to 1m in height. Leaves hairy and pinnate or with teeth. The unopened flower buds are ellipsoidal.


9th June 2015, a garden, beside Lancaster Canal, Hest Bank. Photo: © RWD
Flowers and flower buds may, or may not have bracts beneath. The above specimen from Hest Bank has them whilst those from the Sefton coast shown on this page lack them. The green sepal-like toothed or lobed objects cupping the un-opened flowers are not the sepals, but must bracts - and there seem to be more than 3 of them. The sepals (of which there are usually 3) in the above photo totally enclose the flowers and are covered in soft hairs.


8th June 2015, Warton, Silverdale, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Upper stem-leaves and bracts just beneath the un-opened flower heads.


8th June 2015, Warton, Silverdale, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Some bracts are un-lobed whilst others are lobed, or may even be a leaf.


8th June 2015, Warton, Silverdale, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
There always seems to be one longer bract which is lobed (and may even be a leaf, but it takes a position which would be occupied by a bract. The other bracts can be lobed, or not (as here).


8th June 2016, nr a golf course, Hall Rd, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The most notable feature are the conspicuous appressed hairs on the petiole (flower stalk) and the four deep-purple to indigo splodges on the petals near the centre.


8th June 2016, nr a golf course, Hall Rd, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Some specimens have 4 petals with indigo splodges on whilst others have 6 petals with splodges. They could be different cultivars (of which there are many).


8th June 2016, nr a golf course, Hall Rd, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The petals can be pale-pink to orange-red.


8th June 2016, nr a golf course, Hall Rd, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The central stigma are a slightly paler purple than are the numerous surrounding anthers.


8th June 2016, nr a golf course, Hall Rd, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Like Opium Poppy the stigma is radially-spoked and dark purple. Filaments and anthers are both concolorous but darker shade of purple to indigo than the stigmas


1st June 2014, a garden, Old Clough Lane, Walkden, Gtr Mcr. Photo: © RWD
With numerous indigo-coloured filaments and anthers and a rose-coloured lobed stigma with dark-purple felt-like radial rays (of which there are between 7 - 16, max 20) [in this specimen and the one above from elsewhere (Hall Road) there are 13 rays].0


8th June 2016, nr a golf course, Hall Rd, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The petal blotches are also visible from the outside of the petals.


8th June 2016, nr a golf course, Hall Rd, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Flower petiole covered in upwardly-directed hairs which are closely appressed to the stem.


8th June 2016, nr a golf course, Hall Rd, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Petiole hairs turn hyper-abruptly upwards hugging the petiole and have a linear taper.


8th June 2015, Warton, Silverdale, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The leaves are pinnate-like.


8th June 2016, nr a golf course, Hall Rd, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Leaves hairy, pinnate nearer the stem (upper leaf shown here) and with teeth nearer the tip (lower leaf).


8th June 2016, nr a golf course, Hall Rd, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Leaf hairs long, thin and kinky. At the tip of each leaflet is a hair on the brownish hydathode.


8th June 2016, nr a golf course, Hall Rd, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Usually 3 hairy sepals around each flower bud.


8th June 2016, nr a golf course, Hall Rd, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Flower bud from side.


8th June 2016, nr a golf course, Hall Rd, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Flower bud in process of opening with the three sepals parting. The sepals 'caducous' (meaning they fall off in their entirety soon after forming - which is why your Author was puzzled when all the opened flowers seemed to have no sepals).


Not to be semantically confused with : Oriental Plane (Platanus orientalis), Oriental Spruce (Picea orientalis), Oriental Elecampane (Inula orientalis) or Oriental Hawthorn (Crataegus orientalis) [trees with similar names]

Easily mis-identified as : (Papaver bracteatum) which has leafy bracts beneath the flowers, sepals with broad-based stiff hairs and the petals are un-blotched. Also easily mis-identified as Papaver orientale which lacks bracts and is also without blotches on the petals. Unfortunately, all 3 species are sympatric (occurring in the same geographical area) (or not) with intermediates occurring - and might even all belong to the same species (that is, be conspecific)

Some similarities to : Opium Poppy (Papaver somniferum) which also has petals blotched a dark purple to indigo but the petals are usually pink.

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature : The dark blotched petals and the ellipsoidal flower buds.

The stems ooze a white poisonous latex if broken.

ISOQUINOLINE ALKALOIDS

All these isoquinoline alkaloids have been reportedly found within Oriental Poppy. One source claims 20% Oripavane and 9% Thebain in the dried latex of the closely related Papaver orientale which looks very similar to the plant depicted here (Papaver pseudoorientale) but lacks the dark blotches on base of the petals and has long hairs emanating from a broad base.

Papaver pseudooriental contains two main alkaloids, IsoThebaine at 12% and Orientalidine at 0.5%, plus other minor alkaloids such as Bracteolin, Alborine and a novel alkaloid Aryapavane, which is so novel that no structural formula is accessible on the web without paying money! Other sources. A second source says that it is rich in IsoThebaine, Macranthaline, Orientalidine, and Salutaridine, with concentrations varying across location; capsules, stems, leaves and roots.


SECOBERBINE ALKALOIDS

These benzylisoquinolines alkaloids are similar in structure to Papaverine (which is another isoquinoline alkaloid) and which occurs in some other Poppies, but not in Papaver pseudoorientale. The only difference between these three is that the carboxylic acid on Papaveroxidine is replaced by a similar group with one moiety missing on Papaveroxinoline and Papaveroxine. These three complete the triad: carboxylic acid, aldehyde and alcohol.


PROMORPHINANE ALKALOIDS
Salutaridine and Oripavane are closely related to Thebaine upon which they are based, all three being promorphinanes, with minor modifications to the side-groups: Oripavane has a methyl group replaced by a hydrogen atom, and Salutaridine has had the pyran group broken and the addition of a ketone oxygen atom and a double-bond move around so that there are now three parallel double bonds: Salutaridine may well be a coloured compound(?). Salutaridine is only a minor constituent of Papaver pseudoorientale.



APORPHINE ALKALOIDS
Both IsoThebain and Bracteolin are Aporphine alkaloids, but still possess the IsoQuinoline moiety. IsoThebain, with a structural re-shuffle, is isomeric (rather than stereoisomeric) with Thebain. Compare above. Bracteolin is only a minor constituent of Papaver pseudoorientale.



PROTOBERBINE bisBENZYLISOQUINOLINE ALKALOIDS
Another source describes Alborine as a Retroprotoberberine alkaloid.


Alborine is similar to Bractivine apart from a broken ring (top centre) and the addition of two double bonds on one of the rings containing the nitrogen atom, which has now gained a positive charge - making the molecule a zwitterion.


  Papaver pseudoorientale  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Papaveraceae  

Distribution
 family8Poppy family8Papaveraceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Papaver
Papaver
(Poppies)

ORIENTAL POPPY

Papaver pseudoorientale

Poppy Family [Papaveraceae]