Ask a Question forum→I was curious about this poppy plant.

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San Antonio
Waxxumus
Apr 19, 2018 11:00 AM CST
It popped up in my front yard out of nowhere, and I am worried that it could be the type that makes opium.
Could you identify it for me? Ill send you a picture.
Thumb of 2018-04-19/Waxxumus/92ac3f
Thumb of 2018-04-19/Waxxumus/fc1f27

Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
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Jai_Ganesha
Apr 19, 2018 11:26 AM CST
This is Papaver somniferum. The plant does contain opioids, but the vast majority of ornamentals contain tiny amounts. The kind that people think of as "opium poppies" are specialized varieties of the same species which grow a lot taller than the garden forms and are farmed in Tasmania, Afghanistan, and other areas. Most of them are white, but a few are light purple. Those have been bred specifically for high opioid contents whereas the ones we grow are bred for food (poppy seeds) and ornament (garden flowers).

This particular variety is from the "paeoniflorum" or "peony-flowered" group and likely does not contain enough opioids to make anyone sick or intoxicated unless you deliberately tried to harvest the gum from the pod. But even then, with 1 plant you'd get almost nothing.

The way to identify Papaver somniferum from other common poppies such as the Shirley poppy is that the leaves are both glaucous (grey-green) and completely hairless.
Keep going!
[Last edited by Jai_Ganesha - Apr 19, 2018 11:46 AM (+)]
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San Antonio
Waxxumus
Apr 19, 2018 11:35 AM CST
Thank you.
I ended up cutting it down, I dont want risk of being jailed for it since the cops in this region are not very tolerant or kind.
I feel rather bad doing so.
But Id rather be safe than sorry.
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Container Gardener Region: West Virginia Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias
Gardens in Buckets Annuals Houseplants Plant and/or Seed Trader Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Jai_Ganesha
Apr 19, 2018 11:43 AM CST
It's not necessarily illegal to grow for gardening or food production. The act of harvesting opioids is what's illegal, not the act of growing. But in some states (including my own) there are also agricultural restrictions since they can become feral. If you find a jar of poppy seeds (the food) and sprinkle them over a freshly-disturbed site like a construction area or train tracks in late winter, chances are at least a few of these will pop up there the next spring.

This picture is public domain and from a poppy field in Tasmania where they grow the crop for drug production:

Thumb of 2018-04-19/Jai_Ganesha/b4445b

These fields go on for miles, and produce only small amounts of drug. That's why somebody growing 1, 2, or 10 plants is basically harmless. You'd need to set up a whole field to be on the cops' radar. And you'd probably be growing plain white varieties. I guess it's pretty, but not what I'd call ornamental and definitely doesn't compare to the beautiful pink peony-flowered on you had.
Keep going!
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

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plantladylin
Apr 19, 2018 11:58 AM CST
It's a lovely Opium Poppy (Papaver somniferum) and we have many listed here in our database with photos and growing information: https://garden.org/plants/sear...

These Poppies are popular ornamental's in many gardens but since they do contain toxins, one should be careful if grown around children and pets.
http://www.californiagardens.c...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
https://awaytogarden.com/an-ea...
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