Native to Southeastern Europe and Western Asia, bread seed poppy, Papaver somniferum was cultivated in Europe since the Neolithic era and in America as ornamental plants before 1750. Bread seed poppy plants grow quickly from seed up to three feet tall. They are hardy, cool season annuals, germinating early in the season and the foliage is not affected by light frosts (the flowers are sensitive to freezing). The dull green to blue-green, glaucous leaves clasp the strong upright stems growing from a stout tap root. The smooth leaves have jagged edges and a crisp texture, resembling loose-leaf lettuce leaves. The foliage begins to decline once the plant is in bloom, and by the time the flowers are done will dry up completely. They germinate better in cool soil, so seeding later in the spring often is unsuccessful. They can also be started indoors if necessary, but need to be kept cooler than room temperature to do well.