Species in the Papaveraceae in our region are annual or perennial herbs with leaves that usually grow alternately along the stem. The leaf blades are usually lobed, or divided into leaflets. The stems and leaves contain latex, a milky or colored sap. The flowers are showy and may be solitary or arranged in branching arrays. The flowers are actinomorphic (radially symmetrical) or zygomorphic (bilaterally symmetrical) and have both pollen-bearing and ovule-bearing parts. There are 2 or 3 sepals that fall off early in the season, and 4 or more petals that may be separate or fused into distinctive shapes. There are 6 to many stamens and 1 style (or none) with a lobed stigma. The fruit is a dry capsule that releases its many small seeds by splitting open lengthwise or opening through apical pores. Species formerly placed in the Fumariaceae are included in the Papaveraceae.
This Family’s Genera in New England:
Visit this family in the Dichotomous Key