Papaver somniferum | Breadseed Poppy var. Indian White ‘Raja’
Poppies are a large family of flowering plants that include annuals, biennials, perennials, and even semi-shrubs and small evergreen trees. They are found all over the globe, and in a wide range of environments, but predominantly in the northern hemisphere. Botanists have divided poppies into almost 800 different species, grouped into 42 genera. And those are just the wild species! Plant breeders have been working with poppies for thousands of years now, and the variety out there today is nearly endless. They are prized for their delicate, silken petals that glow in the suns rays. They don’t last long which makes them that much more beautiful to see. They are also highly regarded for the copious amount of seeds produced by each seed pod, making sure to reseed itself and come back the following year.
Papaver somniferum, the Breadseed Poppy, also known as lettuce leaf poppy and opium poppy, is a type of poppy variety that’s used for culinary and baking purposes. Papaver somiferum means “sleep-bringing” in Latin.
Indian White ‘Raja’ poppies are true Afghan Poppies, bearing only one flower per plant. They are always the first P. somniferum to bloom and usually keep a short stature, reaching just 14-24 inches. Extremely rare in cultivation and we are one of the only companies on Earth to offer these seeds.
For best germination percentages it is recommended to sow outdoors in the autumn if you’re in zones 8-10, or sow late-winter through early spring in colder zones. When seeding in autumn, the poppies will overwinter at seedling size and then grow rapidly when weather warms up in the spring. Where summer nights remain cool, multiple spring sowings can be made for blooms deeper into summer. Ideally with poppies you want them to germinate and grow during cool, moist weather and flower and set seed during hot, dry weather. One can choose to mix seed with fine sand to scatter thinly over prepared soil to avoid overcrowding. Breadseed poppys resent transplanting, so be careful if starting indoors.
When dried, the seed pods are prized by florists for flower arrangements and other crafts.
Sun exposure: Full sun
Mature height: 12-24 inches
Mature width: 5-12 inches
Hardiness zones: All (annual)