large, bowl-shaped bloom of the opium poppy
Photo: Jan Mehlich
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Papaver somniferum

Though the scarlet variety of this upright annual is best known, poppies come in over 70 varieties and a range of colors including white, pink, and mauve. Flowers can grow up to 4 feet and feature blue-green foliage. The bowl-shaped blooms can measure up to 4 inches across. USDA Zones 7-10

TOH Tip: Poppies should be cut just before flowers open. You can prolong the life of cut flowers by cauterizing stems; just hold the tip of each stem in the flame of a candle for a few seconds, then place in water.
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