Members of the Papaver plant genus can reach from 20 to 90 cm (8 to 36 inches) in height.
As a large genus, specific members may be grown as hardy annuals, biennials and perennials in the garden.
The common names for Papaver is the Poppy.
Papaver rhoeas - Common Poppy by Anemoneprojectors.
Some annual poppies include Corn poppy, Tulip poppy, and Flanders Poppy. The biennials and perennialPapaver varieties include Icelandic poppy (Papaver nudicaule) and Oriental poppy.
Papaver orientale (note spelling: not Papaver oriental or orientalis) - Oriental Poppies by Amandabhslater.
Papaver nudicaule - Icelandic poppies by Kimon Berlin.
Poppies have a cup shaped flower. These appear in nearly every colour but blue.
Plants bloom with flowers appear from the middle of spring through to summer.
Papaver somniferum (Breadseed Poppy / Opium Poppy), photograph by Dr. Hans-Günter Wagner; CC.
Papaver rhoeas (Common Poppy / Flanders Poppy / Corn Rose / Field Poppy / Red Poppy), photograph by Andreas Rockstein; CC.
Papaver orientale (Oriental poppy), picture by Gail Hampshire; CC.
Depending on the Papaver plant variety, sow poppy seeds on the surface at the beginning of spring or the end of autumn (Perennial poppies); in the middle of summer (Biennials), or in late autumn or early spring for Annuals
By using continuous sowing in the spring, Annual poppies can have a prolonged blooming season, well into the summer).
Poppies like to grow in sunny areas, and enjoy a moist soil of pH 5.5 to 7.
It is best to sow Papaver seeds outdoors, as opposed to starting them off indoors in the greenhouse or in a conservatory.
If you choose to grow poppies indoors, then they should be sown in peat pots. It will take about 20 days for the seeds to germinate. This should be performed in the dark, at 21°C (70°F).
Try planting poppies out following the last frost of spring, at about 15 to 30 cm (6 to 12 inches) apart for optimum results.
Once growing, it is best to deadhead poppy flowers, such as those from Papaver nudicaule, after they have finished blooming.
Although Papaver plants do carry attractive seed heads, they are prone to take over the garden if left to self seed. It is therefore a good idea to dead-head the plant before seed-set.