Oriental Poppy
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Oriental Poppy
P Introduced Unknown Photo: Tabish
Common name: Oriental Poppy
Botanical name: Papaver orientale    Family: Papaveraceae (Poppy family)
Synonyms: Papaver grandiflorum, Papaver spectabile, Papaver monanthum

Oriental Poppy, a popular garden plant, is a perennial herb, bristly throughout. Flowers are borne solitary, at branch-ends, bowl-shaped, large, 10-16 cm in diameter. Flower-stalks are densely bristly. Flower buds erect, ovoid or broadly ovoid, 2-3 cm, spreading bristly. Sepals are 2, sometimes 3, outside green, inside whitish. Petals are 4-6, red or carmine, cultivars of varying color, with or without a basal dark blotch or flecking, broadly obovate or flabellate, 5-8 cm, basally shortly clawed, below with thick veins. Stamens are numerous; filaments dark, thread-like, below ampliate; anthers indigo-violet, oblong. Stigma is 10-16-rayed, actinomorphic, indigo, uniting into compressed disk, margin sparsely thickly sawtoothed. Roots are whitish, spindle-shaped, fleshy, with numerous fibrous roots. Stems are erect to rising up, clustered, 2-3 ft tall, erect, round, almost compressed- or appressed bristly, leafy in lower 2/3. Basal leaves are green on both surfaces, ovate to lanceshaped, 20-30 cm including leaf-stalk, sparsely sawtoothed or incised, teeth bristle-tipped, both surfaces bristly, bipinnately divided; lobules lanceshaped or oblong. Stem leaves are many, alternate, similar to basal leaves, but smaller; lower leaves long stalked, uppermost stalkless. Capsule is spheroidal, 2-3.5 cm in diameter, hairless, with a flat 10-16-rayed stigmatic disk. Seeds are brown, round-kidney-shaped, broadly striped, with small foveolae. Oriental Poppy is native to the Caucasus, northeastern Turkey, and northern Iran, widely cultivated. Flowering: June-July.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in cultivation in Delhi.

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