Plant Fact Sheet: Summer Poppy

Identifying Features

The flowers of the summer poppy (Kallstroemia grandiflora) grow up to 2.5 inch wide and have 5 petals with dark orange bases and veins. In some of their growing areas the flowers are pink instead of orange. The leaves are opposite and compound with paired, oval leaflets. The stems are hairy.


These flowers are especially noticeable along roadsides during the summer. They are found in sandy soils in washes, slopes, hillsides and grasslands.


Summer poppies can be found growing in both the Sonoran Desert and the Chihuahuan Desert.

Life Span

Summer poppies are annual plants. This means that they germinate, flower, and die within one year.


They can grow to be 3 feet (91 cm) tall.

Quick Facts

  • Summer poppy seeds can remain dormant in the soil for many years. They will germinate when the moisture and temperature are correct, but this may not be until they have been in the ground for at least two years.

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