Information on Long-headed Poppy

Common Name: Long-headed Poppy
Scientific Name: Papaver dubium
Irish Name: Cailleach fhada
Family Group: Papaveraceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


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Long-headed Poppy could sometimes be confused with:

Poppy, Common,

Although this may seem to be a Common Poppy to the casual observer, it is distinguished from that plant mainly in the size of its flowers and the shape of its seed-pods. It's an annual of gardens, arable land and disturbed land.  Slightly lighter red than the Common Poppy, its silky, sometimes orange, flowers (3-7cm) have 4 overlapping petals without a dark blotch and dark purple anthers. They bloom from June to August, each one lasting just one day, and they are pollinated by bees. The plant grows to about 60cm high and its stalks have hairs which are appressed (see photograph) not sticking up as in the Common Poppy. The grey-green leaves are pinnately lobed, alternately up the stem.  A further difference is in the seed capsule which in this case is a narrow capsule which is much longer (up to 3cm) than it is wide and quite hairless. Seeds are dispersed from the capsule through open pores in the top.  This plant was probably introduced and belongs to the family Papaveraceae.

I first identified this Poppy in my own garden in Dalkey, Co Dublin in 2008 and I photographed it at that time.   

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Poppy, Long-headed
Poppy, Long-headed

The seeds of this wildflower are thought to have been harvested with cereal crops, especially rye, for centuries; however modern methods of harvesting have systematically eradicated its seeds and it is now less common than it once was.