Papaver somniferum 'Hens and Chickensí / Annual Poppy / Seeds

(Code: B&T_173)

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Papaver somniferum 'Hens and Chickens’ / Annual Poppy / Seeds

A very unusual variety of annual poppy, grown for its attractive seed pod, which has lots of small pods on the base, and together resembles a mother hen and her chickens.   The plants flower in the summer from June to August, in attractive shades of plume, and grow to a height of 60-80cm.  After flowering, the seed pods form, first in green and then maturing to brown. These pods are great for flower arranging, either green or dried. Dried pods can be painted.

Poppies grow best in full sun and can cope with all soils except water logging. 


Pack of approx 500.  Sow in autumn or spring directly in the ground or in early spring in pots.  Sowing instructions and a colour photo are printed on the packet.

Parts of the plant are considered toxic.

See how your seeds are packed.

Hardiness Hardy annual (RHS Hardiness H5)
Flowers June to August
Height 60-80cm
Spread 20cm
Conditions  Full sun and well drained soil

Sow in spring or autumn directly onto the surface of cultivated soil and rake over lightly.  Sow in patterns, such as a cross or circle, so you can identify and remove weed seedlings. Thin directly sown seedlings to about 15cm apart. Or sow in early spring on the surface of plugs or cells of seed compost and keep at room temperature. Germination takes 10-30 days. Plant out into the garden after the last frost, disturbing the roots as little as possible.  


Plants grow, flower and then die in the same year.  Once established, plants need little care and attention.  The plants form the attractive seedheads after flowering. Scatter seeds into the garden in autumn/winter if you want plants to self-seed, although they may flower in different colours and the pods may be of a different form in subsequent years.  Remove plants in autumn/winter and sow again in autumn or spring.