does anyone know how to distinguish these two species? I have a plant that has been labeled as Papaver lateritium flore pleno. the seedex this year had P. rupiragum listed and looking at the pics on the internet the two species look the same. Both seem to have multi-petaled versions.
Do you know if by "stem" they are talking about the flower stem, or a section lower down where the leaves leave the plant?
The term "stem" would
The term "stem" would normally refer to both.
Here's where having some books comes in handy... :-)
From Christopher Grey-Wilson's Poppies: The Poppy Family in the Wild and in Cultivation:
P. lateritum - mostly basal leaves, lanceolate, coarsely- toothed to pinnately-lobed, leaves and stems hairy; solitary flowers, bright brick red, sometimes apricot, 4.5-6 cm across, orange-yellow anthers; sepals covered in long yellowish hairs; fruit capsule club-shaped, broadest below stigmatic disk; stoloniferous perennial; up to 50 cm.
P. rupifragum - perennial, tap root; bristly leaves oblong to elliptical, pinnately-lobed with toothed segments; many sparsely-branched stems, sparsely leafy below, slender stalks hairless or somewhat bristly; solitary flowers, 35-45 mm across, crimped petals, clear brick red; smooth sepals;orange-yellow anthers; fruit capsule smooth, oblong club-shaped, up to 1 inch long, slightly ribbed; up to 50 cm.
The key distinguishes them as follows:
Stems unbranched - P. lateritum
Stems branched close to base - P. rupifragum
Leaves and stems subglabrous; sepals glabrous - P. rupifragum
Stems and leaves hairy on P. lateritum
So, it seems to come down to hairiness. There may be differences in the seed capsules... not enough illustrations in the book to tell.
Yes, they are similar in appearance and both have double versions.... and chances are that a fair number of the photos on the internet are misidentified anyway. ;-)