Prickly Poppy - Papaver argemone

Alternative names
Roemeria argemone

Short to medium, stiffly hairy plant. Leaves pinnately-lobed with linear or oblong, bristle tipped divisions. Flowers pale scarlet, 2 to 6 cm, the petals not overlapping and often with a dark blotch at the base. Anthers bluish. Capsules oblong, with a few erect bristles.

Identification difficulty
Recording advice

Unless identified by a recognised expert detailed photographs are required showing the various features of the plant, including the seed capsule.  In cases of doubt a specimen may be required.


An annual of arable crops, usually found on field edges and in unsprayed corners, often in small numbers. It is most frequent on light sandy, gravelly and chalky soils. Rarely, it occurs on waste ground.

When to see it

In flower from May to July or August.

Life History


UK Status

It is infrequent and although widespread in Britain it has a very patchy and local distribution.  It is susceptible to herbicides and has declined because of this.

VC55 Status

Scarce in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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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