SCIENTIFIC NAME: Papaver
COMMON NAME(S): Poppies
FAMILY: PAPAVERACEAE- Poppy family
ORIGIN: Europe, Asia, Australia, South Africa, western North America, about 50 spp.
HABITAT: Cultivated landscapes
HEIGHT: Generally under 4'
CHARACTERISTICS: Stems usually waxy, with cream, yellow or yellow-orange latex
LEAVES: Spirally-arranged, deeply dissected and feather-like
FLOWERS: Solitary, large, round, showy, variously colored; the petals often crepe-like with many stamens
FLOWERING SEASON: Spring, summer
ALLERGENIC PRINCIPLES: Unknown
ALLERGENIC PROPERTIES: Dermatological
COMMENTS: Several poppy species have caused contact dermatitis. Oriental poppies (C. orientale L.), Shirley or corn poppies (P. rhoeas L.) and Iceland poppy (P. nudicaule L.) are popular garden flowers. P. somniferum L., Opium poppy, is the source of the drug morphine and the narcotic heroin as well as poppy seeds used as condiments.