Papaver nudicaule var. croceum

Common Name: Arctic poppy 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Papaveraceae
Native Range: Sub Arctic regions
Zone: 2 to 7
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: White, yellow, orange, salmon, rose, pink
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Tolerate: Deer


Short-lived perennial that is usually grown in gardens as a biennial or annual. It is best grown in organically rich, moderately fertile, evenly moist, well-drained soils in full sun. Plants generally grow well in average garden soils as long as drainage is good. Plants appreciate some light afternoon shade in hot summer climates. Plants thrive in climates with cool summer temperatures (day and night), but struggle in hot and humid conditions. Sow seed outdoors in spring several weeks before last frost date, or for earlier bloom, sow seed indoors in pots about 6-8 weeks prior to last spring frost date. Propagate from seed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Papaver nudicaule, commonly called arctic poppy, is native to Asian mountain areas north into arctic regions. Each plant features a clump of pinnately lobed basal leaves from which rise slender, leafless flower stems to 1-2’ tall. Solitary, saucer-shaped, mildly fragrant flowers (to 4” diameter) with crinkled petals bloom from spring to early summer. Horticultural varieties produce flowers in a range of colors including white, yellow, orange, salmon, rose and pink.

Var. croceum features orange to orange red flowers.

Genus name from Latin means poppy.

Specific epithet means bare-stemmed.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Alpine gardens, rock gardens, cottage gardens, mixed border fronts, containers. Excellent cut flower for fresh arrangements.