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Gardening in the Rainy Zone.
Papaver somniferum 'Lauren's Grape'
BREAD SEED POPPY, LETTUCE LEAF POPPY, OPIUM POPPY
Family: Papaveraceae Pronounced: puh-PAY-ver som-NEE-fer-um
Sunset zones: All.
USDA zones: 3-8.
Heat zones: 8-1.
Height: 4 feet (1.2 m).
Width: 12 inches (30 cm).
Single, dark grape hued petals.
Big, lettuce-like, soft sea green, oblong leaves with deep lobes.
Fertile, well-drained soil.
Fertilize with a complete organic fertilizer.
In spring, sow seed in situ.
Rainy Side Notes
This annual poppy has become quite popular to grow—I see this cultivar growing in many gardens around the Pacific Northwest. The good news is, this one reseeds itself, so if you aren't too keen on starting seed every year, buy one plant and let it go to seed. When the pod dries out on the stalk, cut it, and turn it upside and shake the seed out on bare ground wherever you want it to grow. If you can't be bothered with that, let Mother Nature do it for you.
For cooking purposes, when the seed pod dries turn the pod upside in a bag and shake the seed out. Each pod carries a generous amount of seed. The pods also are great in dried arrangements and for crafts. I've seen them spray painted and placed in Christmas wreaths.
Although it is illegal to grow opium poppies (Papaver somniferum) in the United States, gardeners around the country ignore the law and grow them for the fresh flowers, dried pods for arrangements and crafts, or the poppy seeds for cooking purposes. It is legal to have or sell the seed. You would have to grow a huge quantity of pods to even make enough opium to use, it would be tough to hide what you are doing; however, I am sure there are some stupid people out there doing just that. I believe the law should be changed so that a small backyard patch of opium poppies would be legal to grow, as long as they were grown for ornamental or culinary purposes only.