Long-headed Poppy - Papaver dubium


Short to medium hairy plant with white latex when stem is broken. Flowers orangey red 3 to 7 cm only occasionally blotched at the base, anther violet. Flower stem with hairs pressed close to stem. Seed capsule long not rounded.

Similar Species

All other small red Papaver species, especially P lecoqii

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

Seed capsules long and narrow (more than twice as long as wide).  Flowers often lighter red than P rhoeas, but this is variable.  Flowers can be blotched at base. Sap or latex is white/cream when fresh - break stem to see this.  Anthers brownish to bluish-black

Recording advice

Photo of seed capsules and latex oozing from stem.  Cannot be identified with confidence from a photo just of the flower


Cultivated fields, bare and waste places, field boundaries and roadsides.

When to see it

June to August.

Life History


UK Status

Found throughout Britain, but scarce in the north of Scotland.

VC55 Status

Fairly common in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 327 of the 617 tetrads.

Listed as Alien (archaeophyte) and Occasional in the current Checklist (Jeeves, 2011)

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map