- Type Herbaceous flower
- Lifespan Annual, biennial, or perennial
- USDA Zones 3-10
- Light Full sun
- Water Well-drained soil
- When to Plant Late spring
- Design Tip Dash of color
- Companions Lilies, tickseed
- Peak Season Early summer flowers
Poppy: A Field Guide
A wildflower, poppies come in virtually every color, from scarlet to blush, and range in size from six inches to a few feet tall.
Some have giant blooms, such as the Iceland poppy (P. nudicaule), with flowers that measure seven inches across. Cheery orange California poppy (Eschscholzia californica) is the official state flower of California. The Oriental poppy (P. orientale) is a large-flowered perennial that goes dormant after blooming.
The bold blooms of poppies lend drama to any floral arrangement. When cutting from the garden, pick buds (not open flowers—let them open in a vase). Seal the stems with a burning match to prolong the cut flower’s vase life.