Poppy ((Papaver rhoeas)

Strangely enough, the tender leaves can be added to salads, giving them a pleasant flavor. The petals are used to decorate dishes and the young ovary can be eaten (as well as the seeds have a hazelnut flavor).the infusion of petals (10gr/l), is used to treat coughs, colds or insomnia.as soon as spring arrives it is easy to see them everywhere.


The common poppy or wild poppy (
Papaver rhoeas
), is a phanerogamous species of the genus Papaver, belonging to the family Papaveraceae (Papaveraceae).



It is an annual plant that can reach more than 50 cm in height. It has erect and little branched stems with fine hairs. The leaves, which are borne alternate along the stem, without petiole, are pinnate and very toothed at the margins with a single midrib. The flowers, deep scarlet, bell-shaped and almost spherical, have four thin petals and two hairy sepals. The petals are very delicate and wither quickly, so the flowers can not be used in floral ornaments. The black stamens form a ringed cluster around the gynoecium, giving it the appearance of a black button. The fruit is a unilocular capsule with false septa, pale green, oval/subglobose in shape, truncated by a kind of cap at the top (disc) with 8-18 rays and with numerous inframamillimetric seeds, which escape through pores below the upper disc (poricidal dehiscence). These tiny seeds are, as in all species of the genus, kidney-shaped, honeycombed with polygonal reticulum and brownish in color. They bloom from early to late spring. They do not withstand hot climates or humidity.

The poppy has been associated with agriculture since ancient times. Their life cycle is adapted to most cereal crops, flowering and grain before harvesting of the crops. Although it is considered a weed, it is easy to combat with the usual pest control methods.


The leaves are slightly poisonous to herbivorous animals. The fresh green leaves (before flowering) can be cooked like spinach, and are very appetizing, with a characteristic flavor, and lose their poisonous properties when cooked, although they have sedative effects due to the alkaloids they contain, so their consumption as food has been declining in southern Europe.

The seeds are harmless and are often used as a condiment and in pastries, while the petals are used to make syrups and soft drinks. The sap, petals and capsules contain rhoeadine, an alkaloid with mildly sedative effects, unlike the species Papaver somniferum (opium poppy), which contains morphine. Excessive consumption can cause intestinal discomfort and even stomach pain.

Geographical distribution

The origin of Papaver rhoeas is unknown, but it is widespread in Eurasia and North Africa (where it is used for cosmetics). Because it is frequently found in cultivated areas, Papaver rhoeas has spread with agricultural areas, i.e., it has colonized areas due to human influence (hemerochory plants).