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PAPAVER rhoeas 'American Legion'

Image of Papaver rhoeas 'American Legion'

Jesse Saylor

Family

Papaveraceae

Botanical Name

PAPAVER rhoeas 'American Legion'

Plant Common Name

American Legion Field Poppy, Corn Poppy, Field Poppy

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

More than willing to sprout up across the landscape, American Legion field poppy boasts vibrant scarlet, papery-petaled blossoms across the warmth of summer. A clumping annual with tall, branching stems, it is native across Eurasia and extreme northern Africa. It is the floral emblem of the American veteran's association "The American Legion". Field poppy made famous by the poetic World World I line, "In Flanders Fields, the poppies blow, among the crosses row on row." It is the traditional lapel decale worn on American Veteran's Day, November 11, although artificial poppies are often worn instead since real poppies would have already succumbed to killing frost by mid-fall.

Leaves are downy and light green. They are oblong to cut deeply, almost-feathery. Across the summertime, the downy branching and upright stems bear four-petaled flowers that are a glowing red with black or yellow-white in their core around blackened pollen anthers. Bees and butterflies pollinate the blooms, and results in a stripe-capped seedpod that splits open to release scores of tiny seeds that will germinate nearby that autumn or early the following spring.

Grow the 'American Legion' in full sun in any fertile soil that is moist but has good drainage. Mix seeds with sand to assist in the scattering of seeds across the garden bed where they are to grow. To prolong flowering on a plant, promptly remove old flowers, which also lessens the amount of seeds later shed to the ground. For use as cutflowers, snip the stems when the buds are full in color yet still closed. In regions with hot intense or dry summers (such as interior low deserts), sow this poppy in early fall and allow it to grow across the mild winter.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Annual

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    1'-3' / 0.3m - 0.9m

  • Width

    8"-12" / 20.3cm - 30.5cm

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Eastern Europe, Northern Africa, Western Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Very Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Red, Ivory, Black

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Fruit Color

    Sandy Brown, Chocolate

  • Fruit Color Modifier

    Striped/Striated

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Light Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Light Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Light Green, Gray Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bedding Plant, Cutflower, Mixed Border, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes