Large deep purple colored fully double, ruffled flowers, like the photo but purple.
Scatter the seeds of this hardy annual in early spring.
Prefers a rich well-drained sandy loam in a sunny position. Requires a moist soil but does not do well on wet clays. Prefers a sandy loam or a chalky soil.
Plants often self-sow in British gardens.
Seed - raw or cooked. Much used as a flavouring in cakes, bread, fruit salads etc, it imparts a very nice nutty flavour. The crushed and sweetened seeds are used as a filling in crepes, strudels, pastries etc. Highly nutritious, the seed contains about 22.7% protein, 48% fat, 9.8% carbohydrate, 7.1% ash. It is also a good source of lecithin. The seeds are rather small, but there are large numbers of them contained in capsules 3cm or more in diameter and so they are easy to harvest and utilize. The seeds are perfectly safe to eat, containing very little if any of the narcotic principles. However, although the seeds contain no narcotic alkaloids, analysis of the urine following their ingestion may produce similar results to the analysis of the urine of morphine or heroin addicts.
Edible young leaves - raw or cooked. They must be used before the flower buds have formed. In some countries they are eaten at the seedling stage. One report says that the leaves do not contain any narcotic principles. Some caution is advised, see notes at top of the page.
A high quality edible drying oil is obtained from the seed. It has an almond flavour and makes a good substitute for olive oil.
Photo "Poppy-2" by Aftabbanoori - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.