Papaver dubium ssp dubium is less well known annual species of poppy known by the common names Long-headed Poppy and Blindeyes. This native wildflower is widespread throughout Europe and America. Found principally in arable fields, where it can occur on both light and heavy calcareous soils, it, along with many other cornfield species has declined locally as a result of agricultural intensification, but its overall distribution is stable.
Flowering from June to August, at first glance is very similar to the Common poppy, Papaver rhoeas. The silky flowers can be almost as tall, with slightly lighter, sometimes more pinky-orange-red flowers. The petals have far less or no dark patches and overlap at the base. The main difference is the shape of their seed capsules, as the name 'Long-headed Poppy' suggests they are elongated, up to 3cm long (1in), more longer than they are wide, whereas P. rhoeas has much more rounded ones.
The deeply lobed, glaucous leaves are covered in hairs and arranged as a basal rosette. As the seedheads mature the basal leaves die away. The tiny black seeds are dispersed from the mature, brown capsule through openings in the top as it is disturbed by the wind or passing animals.
Papaver dubium is an undemanding species preferring well drained sandy soils without lime. It self-sows readily and is a good choice for naturalising in a meadow garden. It is pollinated by insects, particularly bees and hoverflies.
One point worth mentioning is that, if after cutting, the base of the stems are held for a few seconds in a flame or boiling water, the flowers will last several days in water.
Sowing: Sow directly in autumn or in spring.
Sow seeds directly where they are to grow in early spring or after the last snowfall, between March and May for an early summer showing. For late spring blooms, sow seeds in early autumn, between August and September.
Poppies prefer to be grown in well drained soil, in a sunny position. Dig over the ground and prepare a seed bed, adding well rotted compost if necessary.
Scatter the seeds by hand, or use a broadcast spreader to randomly sow the seeds over the prepared soil. Sow seeds thinly. Because poppy seeds are small, gardeners often mix them with sand to achieve a more even distribution. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil or sand. That helps protect the seeds from birds and small animals.
If you desire a more orderly outcome to your garden, plant the seeds into shallow trenches and mark the sowing areas with a ring of light coloured sand and label if sowing more than one annual in the same bed. The seedlings will appear in rows and can be told from nearby weed seedlings quite easily. Moisten the poppy-seed soil bed after planting and as needed. Poppies prefer a consistently moist soil; they possess a delicate root system and should be watered gently until taking root. Germination is dependent on climate and should occur between 4 and 25 days.
Cover seeds lightly with a layer of fine soil. Firm the top soil gently and keep moist. Seedlings appear in 2 to 3 weeks. Thin seedlings, if desired, when they reach a height of 12cm (5in). Plants placed 15cm (6in) apart will face less competition and produce more pods and seeds. Alternatively, leave them to grow as small clumps, of 4 to 6 plants every 30cm (12in) or so. Continue watering regularly and keep them weed free.
Feeding is rarely needed but for more vigorous plants liquid fertiliser can be added.
Water well if there are prolonged periods of drought. Poppies offer a profusion of flowers from June through to September. To encourage prolonged flowering, take off any dead heads throughout the flowering season.
At the end of the season, leave a few plants to die down and self seed. Others can be pulled up and composted. Harvest the largest pods, and save the seeds for the next planting.
Poppies are self-seeding, the seed, which is produced from July onwards, can remain viable in the soil for many years. To ensure poppies come again from self sown seed the ground should be disturbed in the autumn. This gives space for the next generation of seedlings to establish.
For Cut Flowers:
Cut when flowers are in bud, hold the base of the stems for a few seconds in a flame or boiling water and the flowers will last several days in water.
Cottage/Informal Garden, Flower Borders and Beds, Wildflower meadows, Butterfly & Bee Gardens, Cut Flowers.
Native throughout Europe and America Papaver dubium is found principally in arable fields, where it can occur on both light and heavy calcareous soils, it, along with many other cornfield species has declined locally as a result of agricultural intensification, but its overall distribution is stable.
Papaver dubium exists as two subspecies Papaver dubium ssp lecoqii the yellow-juiced poppy, which has yellow latex, and the more widespread Papaver dubium ssp dubium, which has white latex and petals that overlap at the base.
The genus name Papaver is the classical Latin name for the poppy. It is a species of flowering plant in the poppy family, Papaveraceae
The species name dubium means 'doubtful'. The Latin word dubium has as its root the word duo, meaning 'two'. Something that is dubium, a matter of doubt, is about possibilities, the existence of two or more things that are similar or make claims to be true. In the case of this poppy, it is referring to the possibilities that it looks similar to Papaver rhoeas, the common corn poppy.
Common names include Long-headed Poppy and Blindeyes.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 250mg Average Seed Count 3,500 seeds Family Papaveraceae Genus Papaver Species dubium ssp dubium Cultivar Wildflower of Britiain and Ireland Common Name Long-headed poppy Other Common Names Blindeyes Other Language Names IR. Cailleach fhada Hardiness Hardy Annual Flowers Pink-red blooms Natural Flower Time June to August. Height 30-45cm (12-18in) Spread 30-38cm (12-15in) Position Full Sun Aspect West or South facing. Sheltered. Soil Well drained, Light.