Papaver setiferum

Papaver setiferum Goldblatt (syn.: P. pseudo-orientale (Fedde) Medw., P. bracteatum Lindl. var. pseudo-orientale Fedde) (SW-As.) – An exceptional escape from cultivation. Known at least since 2001 from a disused railway yard in the city of Gent (Verloove 2002, 2006). Furthermore sometimes seen in more or less ruderalized sea dunes, usually in the vicinity of residences, but then probably always ephemeral.

Papaver setiferum is part of a taxonomically difficult species-complex (Goldblatt 1974, Nyman & Bruhn 1979, Lack 2019 and references therein). It is closely related to and according to certain authors conspecific with Papaver orientale L. and P. bracteatum (see for instance Clement & Foster 1994). These species are largely sympatric and intermediates are commonly encountered. However, most Belgian collections seen are characterized by the absence of bracts below the flowers and petals with a black spot at base. These unequivocally belong to “true” Papaver setiferum. A small population from coastal dunes in Koksijde, discovered in 2011, has a few floral bracts and blackish spots are absent from the petals. It may belong to genuine Papaver orientale but should be further documented.

Papaver setiferum is a new name, recently proposed by Goldblatt (2011). Papaver pseudo-orientale is a homonym for a plant of that name coined by E. G. Camus in 1898 for the hybrid P. orientale × P. lateritium K. Koch, described in detail but not named by J. R. Jungner in 1889 (Goldblatt l.c.). However, a conservation proposal for the name P. pseudo-orientale has been addressed (Lack 2019). Goldblatt's P. setiferum is evidently confusable with P. setigerum, a very different species but occurring in the same area as the former.

Selected literature: 

Adolphi K. (2015) Anmerkungen zu einigen sich möglicherweise einbürgernden Neophyten. Braunschweiger Geobotanische Arbeiten 11: 137-153. [available online at:;jsessionid=273AC2D45111D31FF7709A7B7BCAB9A5]

Baytop A. (1982) Turkiye'nin cok yillik Papaver turleri. (The perennial Papaver species of Turkey.) Istanbul Univ. Ecz. Fak. Yayinl. 34: 15-21.

Clement E.J. & Foster M.C. (1994) Alien plants of the British Isles. BSBI, London: XVIII + 590 p.

Goldblatt P. (1974) Biosystematic studies in Papaver section Oxytona. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 61: 264-296.

Goldblatt P. (2011) A New Name for Papaver pseudo-orientale (Papaveraceae). Novon 21(2):182-182.

Lack H.W. (2019) The discovery and naming of Papaver orientale s.l. (Papaveraceae) with notes on its nomenclature and early cultivation. Candollea 74: 47-64. [available online at:

Nyman U. & Bruhn J.G. (1979) Papaver bracteatum: a summary of current knowledge. Planta Medica 35: 97-117.

Parmaksiz I. & Özcan S. (2011) Morphological, chemical, and molecular analyses of Turkish Papaver accessions (Sect. Oxytona). Turk. J. Bot. 35: 1-16.

Verloove F. (2002) Ingeburgerde plantensoorten in Vlaanderen. Mededeling van het Instituut voor Natuurbehoud n° 20: 227 p.

Verloove F. (2006) Papaver pseudo-orientale. In: Van Landuyt W., Hoste I., Vanhecke L., Van den Bremt P., Vercruysse W. & De Beer D., Atlas van de flora van Vlaanderen en het Brussels gewest. Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek, Nationale Plantentuin van België en Flo.Wer: 646.

Williamson E.M. (1977) Studies on Papaver bracteatum and related species. Thesis presented for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the University of London. London: School of Pharmacy, University of London: 190 p.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith