Papaver Somniferum (Hen’s and Chicks Poppy) Seeds




Somniferum is the variety of poppy whose seeds are most often used in culinary activities and baking. The seed oil is also used for a variety of purposes such as making paints, varnishes and salad dressings. Also like the peony, it has been a common feature of poetry and art dating well into ancient times. It is cultivated in many parts of the world as a crop and an ornamental flower. Unlike peonies, though, the flowers are not frilly.  With plants stretching up to four feet, the foliage is bluish green and looks like lettuce. They will usually hybridize with other poppies if precautions are not taken to prevent cross-pollination. Hens and Chicks is perhaps the most unique variety of all.  It has amazing blooms, but is characterized by clusters of mini pods that surround the primary seed pod. The name refers to its resemblance to a hen being surrounded by her chicks. This is not to be confused with the succulent by the name name (sempervirens), which we also carry.

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