Beauty of Livermere Oriental Poppy

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Misc Wildlife Value
Shade Full Sun
Area Frost Pockets, Scotland & The North
Soil Good, Well Drained
Colour Red/Crimson
Type Pot Grown
Also Good Repeat Flowering, Seedheads
Flowering May, Jun, Jul, Sep

Papaver orientale Beauty of Livermere

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SIZES 1-2 3-910+
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Beauty of Livermere Oriental Poppies

A stalwart of the cottage garden, Beauty of Livermere is an exuberant oriental poppy that will fill sunny borders with bright cherry red from early to mid-summer. This is definitely not a plant for the faint-hearted so if you prefer pastels take a look at the rest of our herbaceous perennials.

Beauty of Livermere poppies die back in autumn and regrow each spring, sending up soft, downy grey-green leaves first, then plenty of stout, softly furred stems, growing to 1.2m. Each of these soon develops fat, tactile buds that slowly split to reveal the softest, silkiest crêpe-like petals in vibrant pillar-box red, opening from crumpled satin to big, bold poppy flowers, each petal splashed ebony towards the base. The central stamens are fabulous, too – large, showy and a rich aubergine in colour.

In the garden

Sun is what oriental poppies thrive in, so give this gorgeous example a south- or west-facing border in well-drained but moist soil. If you garden on clay, dig in plenty of well-rotted garden compost and some horticultural grit, too, if you have it. To keep it looking good, cut back the spent flower stems and tatty leaves after flowering and you might be rewarded with a second flush in autumn. Lift and divide large clumps in autumn to create more plants and regenerate them.

If you're after some good planting companions, grasses look wonderful with poppies, including Stipa tenuissima – particularly successful in a gravel garden, the wafty buff grasses providing a calming foil to the bright, brash poppies. Or combine with rich purples – think lupins or cotinus – to pick up on the gorgeous grape colour of the poppy's centre.


  • Colour: bright pillar-box red with ebony splashes
  • Flowering: May-Jul
  • Foliage: mid-green, downy
  • Height: 1.2m
  • Spread: 60cm
  • Spacing: 50cm
  • Position: full sun
  • Soil: moist, well drained

Did you know?

First grown in Britain by Royal gardener George London in the early 1700s, for the next 200 years oriental poppies were only available in shades or red and orange.

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Bareroot planting is best done between October and April
Bareroot and potted - what's the difference?

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