Papaver somniferum, ‘Hungarian Blue’
Poppy somniferum, also known as ‘Breadseed poppy’, is the poppy variety most often cultivated for culinary use and baking. The somniferum poppy is also prized for the amount of seed produced by individual seed pods. Poppies prefers a cooler climate and grow best in loose, well drained soil, so should be planted out only when extreme heat is not anticipated. The seeds can be sown in the fall or early spring as soon as the last winter snow recedes. One can even scatter them at the edge of melting snow. (Freezing seeds for 48 hours before sowing can increase the germination percentage.) Seeds may not germinate if warmer than 60 F.
This shimmering purple (‘blue’ in the botanical world) poppy grows to 3-4 ft in height and produces numerous flower heads per plant. Begins blooming early to mid summer. The flowers will attract a variety of beneficial insects to the garden, such as butterflies, bumblebees, ladybugs, and even hummingbirds.
When dried, the large seed pods are prized by florists for flower arrangements and other crafts. (Folks regularly sell these to florists.) Seeds are extremely viable.
Height: 3- 4 ft
Zones: All (annual)