Papaver hybridum

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaPapaveraceaePapaverPapaver hybridum


This annual occurs in arable crops, and sometimes in other disturbed habitats. It is most frequent on chalky soils, but also grows on other limestones and on calcareous sands. The seed, which can be long-lived, germinates in both autumn and spring. 0-320 m (Buxton, Derbys.).



World Distribution

As an archaeophyte P. hybridum has a Submediterranean-Subatlantic distribution.

Broad Habitats

Arable and horticultural (includes orchards, excludes domestic gardens)

Light (Ellenberg): 7

Moisture (Ellenberg): 4

Reaction (Ellenberg): 8

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 4

Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 4.1

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15.9

Annual Precipitation (mm): 776

Height (cm): 50

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary

Therophyte (annual land plant)



Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 357

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 33

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 6

Atlas Change Index: -0.35

JNCC Designations


Scarce Atlas Account

Scarce Atlas Account: 

Papaver hybridum L.

Rough poppy

Status: not scarce


This is a weed of calcareous, well-drained, and therefore light, soils. It normally occurs along the margins of autumn and spring-sown cereal crops, but can also be found on tracksides and waste land. P. hybridum is constantly associated with P. rhoeas, less so with P. argemone and P. dubium. It usually forms part of a species-rich community which may include some of the less common weed species such as Euphorbia exigua, Fumaria densiflora, Legousia hybrida, Lithospermum arvense, Petroselinum segetum, Scandix pecten-veneris and Valerianella dentata. It is confined to the lowlands. 

An annual which is mostly self-pollinated. Although capable of producing 1500 seeds per plant, dispersal is inefficient with many seeds being retained in the capsule and hence germination is often close to the parent plant. It germinates in autumn and spring, but plants tend to be more vigorous in the less competitive spring-sown crops. P. hybridum normally exists as a few scattered individuals on the very edge of crop margins where regimes of herbicide and fertiliser applications are not so intense, but occasional larger populations can be found.

In Britain, P. hybridum has a more restricted range than that of P. argemone. It is another species which has diminished in response to the increased use of chemical herbicides and fertilisers since the 1950s.

It is distributed throughout the lowlands of central and southern Europe (Jalas & Suominen 1991), and eastwards to Iran and India. It is also found North Africa. In common with the other British Popover species, it has almost certainly been introduced as an agricultural weed in ancient times. It is considered to be threatened with extinction or vulnerable in most of the countries of north-west Europe.

For a more detailed account of this species, see McNaughton & Harper (1964b).


A. Smith