An annual of arable fields and other disturbed and open habitats. It is most frequent on light, calcareous soils. It is sensitive to herbicide, but can be abundant in unsprayed strips in fields. Its seed can be very long-lived. It is also frequent in wild-flower seed mixtures and occurs as a garden escape. Lowland.
This species was mapped as `all records` in the 1962 Atlas. Although there have been losses around the edges of its range, the overall distribution is remarkably stable.
As an archaeophyte P. rhoeas has a European Southern-temperate distribution; it is widely naturalised outside this range.
Light (Ellenberg): 7
Moisture (Ellenberg): 5
Reaction (Ellenberg): 7
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 6
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.8
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15.3
Annual Precipitation (mm): 877
Height (cm): 60
Perennation - primary
Life Form - primary
Clonality - primary
Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 1712
Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 370
Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 14
Atlas Change Index: -0.41
Weighted Changed Factor: 10
Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)
Atlas text references
1988. Comparative Plant Ecology.
1986. Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Jalas & Suominen (1991)
1989. A revision of Papaver L. section Rhoeadium Spach. Notes from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. 45:225-286.
1964. Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 99. Papaver rhoeas L. (pp. 767-779), Papaver dubium L. (pp. 780-783), Papaver lecoqii Lamotte (pp. 783-786), Papaver argemone L. (pp. 786-789), Papaver hybridum L. (pp. 789-793). Journal of Ecology. 52:767-793.
1965. Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.
1984. Seed survival and periodicity of seedling emergence in four weedy species of Papaver. Weed Research. 24:195-200.
1990. The ecology and conservation of rare arable weed species and communities.