Papaver setigerum (Poppy of Troy)

Scientific Name

Papaver setigerum DC.

Common Names

Poppy of Troy, Dwarf Breadseed Poppy


Papaver somniferum subsp. setigerum, Papaver somniferum var. setigerum

Scientific Classification

Family: Papaveraceae
Subfamily: Papaveroideae
Tribe: Papavereae
Genus: Papaver


Color: Purple
Bloom Time: May through June


Papaver setigerum is closely related to and sometimes treated as a sub-species of Papaver somniferum. It is a herbaceous annual plant with erect stems that grows up to 32 inches (80 cm) tall. Leaves are simple and oblong. The lower ones are sessile, deeply lobed, and toothed, and the higher ones shortly pedunculated. Flowers at the apex of the stem are hermaphroditic and up to 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter. The corolla forms a cup with four pink-purple petals, with a dark purple blotch at the base. It has several stamens with dark filaments holding yellow anthers. Flowering occurs from May through June.

Papaver setigerum (Poppy of Troy)
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It is grown as an annual plant, so it has no USDA hardiness zone.

How to Grow and Care

Plant Corn Poppy seeds directly on top of cultivated soil. In mild climates, plant the seeds in late fall or early spring when soil temperatures are between 60 and 70 ºF (15 and 21 ºC). Corn Poppies thrive in full sunlight and rich, well-drained soil. If the soil is poor, incorporate 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm) of compost or manure before planting.

Water Corn Poppies when the top of the soil feels dry. Saturate the root zone thoroughly, as shallow waterings promote a shallow root system. For best results, water by hand with a hose or use a drip system to keep the foliage as dry as possible. If you use a sprinkler, water early in the day, so the foliage has time to dry before evening. Soggy soil and damp foliage place the plant at risk of rot and fungal diseases.

Spread 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) of mulch around the plants in the spring. An organic mulch such as shredded leaves or dry grass clippings keeps the roots cool, conserves moisture, and prevents the growth of weeds.

Apply a balanced liquid or granular fertilizer if newly emerging foliage has a yellowish appearance. Use the fertilizer following label recommendations. As a general rule, Poppies require no supplemental fertilization if granular fertilizer or compost are incorporated into the soil at planting time. See more at How to Grow and Care for Corn Poppy.


Papaver setigerum grows wild in the Mediterranean region, especially in southwestern Europe (Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Greece) and North Africa.


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