Papaver rhoeas - Field Poppy/Common Poppy

Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Equisetopsida - Order: Ranunculales - Family: Papaveraceae

Common Poppy


Common Poppy, also known as Corn Poppy or Field Poppy, is an annual and grows to a height of 50 to 75cm. The flowers, born singly on hairy stems, are 50 to 100mm across and have four red petals each with a black spot at the base.


Common throughout the central and eastern parts of Britain and Ireland, the Common Poppy is less plentiful in the north of England and in Scotland.

Closeup of the Poppy flower


Popies love disturbed soil. There can be few lovelier sights than a cornfield with swathes of poppies... and sad to say few rarer sights in most parts of Britain nowadays. Poppies are still plentiful on some motorway cuttings, and they can spring up anywhere that light, sandy soil has been recently disturbed. In Europe (and in the Mediterranean region in particular) where less intensive farming regimes are used it is still common to see fields full of poppies. The Common Poppy sprang up in profusion on the battlefields of World War II, most particularly in France and Belgium, and has great significance in remembrance of the fallen soldiers..

Poppies in Portugal

Blooming times

In Britain the Common Poppy usually produces flowers from June until August, but in southern Europe this wildflower can appear as early as February.


The specific epithet rhoeas comes from the Greek word for red.

Poppies on disturbed ground, Portugal

The pictures shown on this page were taken in England and Wales during June and in southern Portugal during March.

Volume 1

We hope that you have found this information helpful. If so we are sure you would find our books Wonderful Wildflowers of Wales, vols 1 to 4, by Sue Parker and Pat O'Reilly very useful too. Buy copies here...

Other nature books from First Nature...

© 1995 - 2021 First Nature: a not-for-profit volunteer-run resource

Please help to keep this free resource online...

Terms of use - Privacy policy - Disable cookies - Links policy