Common poppy Papaver rhoeas

Also referred to as the corn poppy, the common poppy is prevalent throughout farmland, fields, wasteland and roadsides mainly due to the seed’s ability to lay dormant until the soil is disturbed.


The common poppy has four prominent bright red petals, cupped around a cluster of dark brown seeds with a long green stem. Although there are different variations of the poppy, they can be differentiated from the common poppy by its rounded, flat-topped, hairless seed capsules.


Height: 30 – 80cm


Common throughout Scotland and the UK


Lowland areas of Scotland

When to see

July – September


  • Because poppy seeds can remain dormant in soil until it is disrupted, many of these flowers grew at the sites of World War One battlefields after the war. This led to the poppy being adopted as the symbol of Remembrance Day.
  • The Egyptians and Romans used poppies to create garlands to celebrate the gods and ensure the fertility of their crops because they are commonly seen in agricultural fields.

Common name

Common poppy

Species name

Papaver rhoeas

IUCN Red List status


When to see in Scotland

July – September

Where to see in Scotland

Lowland areas including Trust reserves such as Duddingston & Bawsinch and Roslin Glen

Stay up to date with the Scottish Wildlife Trust by subscribing to our mailing list Subscribe now

Back to top