Wild poppy is an annual weed with the main germination occurring in autumn and early winter with a minor germination in spring in some areas. A rosette forms over winter and stems emerge in spring ready for flowering From October to December. Seed ripens in summer and the plants die with the onset of summer drought or in autumn. The mature plant is erect in habit with stems which may be branched and reaches a height of 1.4 m and is an annual. In cultivation this species is very variable in height depending on the fertility status of the soil and the time of year when it germinated, and when it occurs as a weed it shows a similar wide range in size. The leaves clasp the stem, are blue-green, crinkled on the edges and toothed and with a bristle at the tip. The flowers are white, pink or purple and usually have a dark blotch at the base of each petal. They have 4 petals and some varieties appear to have more. The fruiting capsule is large, smooth and globular and exudes a white sap like the stems and leaves when injured.