Papaver is a genus of flowering plants belonging to family Papaveraceae, comprising about 120 species. It's common name is Poppy.
Poppies have beautiful and colorful flowers, and are one of the most popular wildflowers. They deserve a prominent place in cottage gardens, wildlife gardens, mixed borders and rock garden. They are hardy annual, biennial and perennial , frost-tolerant herbaceous plants.
In Greek mythology, the poppy was associated with Demeter, the goddess of agriculture and fertility. People believe the crop would be bountiful for that year if poppy grew in the field, hence the name corn poppy. The 'corn' is derived from Greek word 'korn' which mean grain.
Poppies are sold as cut flowers for flower arrangement especially the Iceland Poppy (Papaver nudicaule). The flowers of Corn Poppy (Papaver rhoeas) contain alkaloid rhoeadine which is a mild sedative, and its stems contain latex or milky sap which may cause skin irritation. Opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) has milky sap which contains narcotic alkaloids including morphine and codeine.
Plant Papaver in sun, fertile and well-drained soil. Propagation is by seed or division in spring. Pest and disease are aphids and mildew.