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Published In: Species Plantarum 1: 506. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 6/2/2011)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 6/3/2011)
General/Distribution: A genus of about 50 species, distributed mostly in temperate Europe and Asia. It is represented by 10 species in West Pakistan, of which one is new to science.
Comment/Acknowledgements: Due to caducous nature of calyx and corolla it is difficult to have a complete specimen with flower and mature fruit on the same herbarium sheet. The collectors do not seem to have collected specimens with flowers and fruits from the same locality or at different times; hence lack of mature fruits in herbaria is a common feature.


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Annual or perennial herbs, with milky or yellowish (rarely whitish) sap. Leaves toothed or pinnately lobed, ± hairy, sometimes hispid or stiffly bristly. Inflorescence generally solitary terminal or axillary, often on long peduncles. Flowers often showy and large with caducous sepals and petals; peduncles often elongated; buds drooping. Sepals 2(-3), free, soon deciduous, usually ovate-orbicular, often hispid. Petals 4(-6), crumpled in bud, usually ± orbicular with little or no claw, usually red, pink, yellow or white. Stamens indefinite with anthers dehiscing outward; filaments linear or dilated, often dark coloured; anthers small, often oblong. Stigmas 4-20, borne on a disc, sessile; disc margin wavy to deeply dissected, with as many lobes as the stigma rays. Ovules numerous on parietal placentae. Fruit many seeded capsule, globose, ellipsoid, subcylindrical-globose, dehiscing by pores just beneath the persistent stigmatic disc. Seeds small or minute, kidney-shaped and pitted or very finely reticulated.

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1 Perennial herbs, scapose with no cauline leaves; (fruit setose) Papaver nudicaule
+ Annual; peduncle on long, rarely short leafy stems; (fruits glabrous or setose) (2)
2 (1) Cauline leaves amplexicaul; plants glabrous or sparsely hispid or stiffly hairy (3)
+ Cauline leaves not amplexicaul; plants usually densely hispid or stiffly hairy (4)
3 (2) Capsule subglobose or ovoid, base rounded; leaves shallowly dissected or serrate; petals 3.5-4.5 cm in diam., ± orbicular; stigmatic rays (-5) 8-12 (-18) Papaver somniferum
+ Capsule obconical or clavate (obovate-oblong), base narrowed; leaves pinnately dissected or laciniate petals 1.5-2 cm long, broadly obovate; stigmatic rays 4-8 Papaver decaisnei
4 (2) Stigmatic segments keeled, marginal lobes deeply dissected; capsule elliptic oblong or sub-tubulose Papaver macrostomum
+ Stigmatic segments not keeled, marginal lobes shallow; capsule sub-globose, ovoid, obovoid or oblong (5)
5 (4) Capsule glabrous; stamen filaments linear, filiform (6)
+ Capsule setose; stamen filaments often slightly broad above (8)
6 (5) Capsule subglobose with rounded base; terminal segments of leaf much longer than the lateral segments Papaver rhoeas
+ Capsule oblong with base ± narrowed; terminal segment of leaf almost equal to the lateral segments (7)
7 (6) Leaf segments usually 4-10 mm broad; peduncle long; capsule 10-20 mm long Papaver dubium
+ Leaf segments usually 1-2 mm broad and short; peduncle short; capsule (immature) 4-5 mm long
8 (5) Capsule elliptic-globose; flower bud obovoid-orbicular, without horns; terminal segment of leaves ± as long as the lateral Papaver hybridum
+ Capsule ± ovoid; flower bud obovoid-suborbicular, usually with 2 horns (horns rarely obsolete); terminal segment of upper leaves ± elongated Papaver pavoninum
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