Papaver somniferum paeoniflorum ?

Discussion in 'Plants: Nomenclature and Taxonomy' started by dt-van, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. dt-van

    dt-van Active Member 10 Years

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    When buying a potted 'opium poppy' last weekend I noticed that the tag had no species name but was instead identified as Papaver Rose Single Peony Flowered. I assumed it was due to legal or moral reluctance to use the latin name Papaver somniferum. An online search for Peony Flowered Poppy provided the above name plus Papaver paeoniflorum and Papaver somniferum var. paeoniflorum. Does anyone know how long the later two names have been around, or where they originated? Is there any taxonomic legitimacy to them, or have they just come into use because of a desire to relabel the showy garden plant as "different" from the 'opium' poppy? Is there any significant genetic difference between these plants and those used to make poppy seeds for culinary use?
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I've seen Paeoniflorum listed as a Cultivar Group, covering all the double-flowered variants of Papaver somniferum. If this one is single-flowered, I'd assume they used the name to avoid attention from drug legislation.

    For producing seed, you'll probably need single forms, as the double may be sterile (the extra petals are derived from the anthers so they don't produce pollen).
     
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Local gardens have stands of self-sown doubles all coming true to type - even the same color.
     

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