This rare poppy is closely related to the opium poppy, Papaver somniferum, with very sizeable flowers which are a stunning scarlet colour, with clear black blotches on each petal. However it is much smaller than its large relation with correspondingly smaller, round smooth pods, and leaves which are deeper lobed too. But its unique status amongst poppies is because the inner petals are not flat but stay upright, an almost doubling effect, hence its common name, the tulip poppy! It is found at high elevations on rocky and sandy mountainsides in Turkey, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran.
For best results, seeds are sown directly into the ground where required in the spring. Alternatively, sow in late winter/early spring in gentle warmth, 15-20 degrees C. Prick out into small 3 inch or 7 cm. pots and plant in final position when the plants are established.
Common name:Turkish Tulip, Turkish Red Poppy