Latin name Papaver nudicaule is a short-lived perennial that is often grown as an annual. The cup-shaped blooms are papery thin and light as a feather blowing gracefully in the breeze.



Native to the Alps and Pyrenees mountains of Europe. Flowers have a light citrus fragrance.


  • Ornamental.
  • Beds, borders, containers, cottage garden, cut flower garden, cutting garden, wildflower mixes.
  • When grown in very northerly regions such as Alaska, Russia, Canada and northern Scandinavia, the Alpine poppy is visited by the Arctic Bumblebee (Bombus polaris). This bumblebee is known to sit inside the Icelandic poppy to warm up and sunbathe, as the petals of this poppy act as a magnifying glass with the sun's rays!




  • Seeds germinate in 14-21 days.
  • Surface sow seeds and gently press into soil, as light aids in germination.
  • Keep seeds moist until germinated.
  • Ideal germination temperature is 65 F.


  • Prefers full sun, moderately rich, loose, well-drained soil.
  • Direct seed in early spring.
  • Space plants 8-12 inches apart.
  • Deadhead spent flowers to encourage continued blooming.


  • While it is fairly pest and disease free, powdery mildew and fungal issues can occur. These can be avoided by improving air circulation and keeping foliage dry.


  • Often self sows, but you can also harvest seeds when capsules turn brown.
  • Save seed over winter in a cool, dark, dry place.