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Published In: Species Plantarum 1: 507. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 9/1/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Introduced


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2. Papaver rhoeas L. (corn poppy, field poppy, Shirley poppy)

Pl. 476 d, e; Map 2176

Sap white or pale orange. Stems 20–80 cm long, moderately pubescent with relatively long, spreading, broad-based hairs. Basal leaves with the blade 3–8 cm long, 1 or 2 times pinnately deeply lobed (rarely fully compound toward the base), variously oblanceolate to elliptic or ovate in outline, the ultimate segments lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate, or narrowly elliptic, tapered to sharply pointed tips, the margins otherwise entire or with a few coarse teeth, the surfaces and margins moderately to densely hairy with relatively coarse hairs. Stem leaves similar to the basal ones, sessile or short-petiolate, with shorter blades, the margins sometimes more densely toothed, not clasping the stems at the base. Flower stalks 12–25 cm long, with relatively long, spreading hairs throughout. Sepals 8–20 mm long, with relatively coarse, loosely ascending hairs. Petals 20–40 mm long, red to pink or purple, usually with a pronounced dark spot at the base, sometimes white or streaked with white, rarely orange. Anthers yellow, usually brownish-tinged. Stigmatic crown with (5–)8–18 lobes. Fruits 12–20 mm long, broadly obovoid to nearly globose, longitudinally lined or slightly ribbed, glabrous, occasionally slightly glaucous when young. 2n=14. May–October.

Introduced, uncommon, mostly in the southwestern and central portions of the state (native of Europe, Asia, Africa; introduced widely but sporadically in the U.S., Canada). Glades and banks of streams and spring branches; also pastures, old mines, railroads, roadsides, and open, disturbed areas.

This red-flowered species grows abundantly in some European meadows (and cemeteries) and was the inspiration for the famous World War I era poem In Flanders Fields written in 1915 by the Canadian physician and officer, John McCrae (1919). It subsequently became an international symbol for the sacrifices of Armed Services war veterans.



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