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

    MAP KEY:

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

    UK Map