Poppy Seed Color

poppy seed color

Poppy seeds can come in many different shades and colors depending on the species and growing conditions of the flower. Our blog focuses on baking, so we will approach this subject with that angle in mind. Determining the poppy seed color is relatively simple but is often overlooked. Remember, each poppy seed color is unique and has benefits that can be tapped to make something very delicious.

Note: When we talk about poppy seed color, we are solely talking about the appearance of the seeds themselves, not the color of the flower bloom. There are hundreds of species of poppy flowers with many beautiful colors to choose from.

Now, let’s get started!!!!


We will differentiate between three main colors of poppy seeds:

  1. Blue Poppy Seeds
  2. Black Poppy Seeds
  3. White Poppy Seeds

Blue Poppy Seeds

The most popular color of poppy seeds in baking and most other culinary purposes (in America) is the blue poppy seed. Blue poppy seeds primarily originate from various countries in Europe including the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. These blue poppy seeds are known for having a stronger taste and a nutty/earthy flavor profile. The climate, soil, and harvesting techniques all come together to form a delicious poppy seed that cannot be replicated. Other countries have attempted to grow delicious blue poppy seeds, including Australia, but none have come close to the flavor of the European blue poppy seeds.

Note: Blue Poppy Seeds can be relatively expensive just like any other high quality item, but you can learn how to save money by purchasing bulk poppy seeds.

Black Poppy Seeds

black poppy seed color turkey

Black poppy seeds originate from Turkey and Eastern Europe and have their own unique taste. Many consider the black poppy seed flavor and aroma to also be quite strong, and it is often compared to pepper. It has a spicier smell and taste. Black poppy seeds are preferred to blue or white poppy seeds in some traditional Eastern European and Jewish dishes.

Remember, it doesn’t matter what the color of the poppy seeds is, you should extend their flavor and freshness and stay away from rotten poppy seeds.

White Poppy Seeds

white poppy seed color Indian cuisine
White poppy seeds are common in India & Pakistan

White poppy seeds have a subtle flavor and they are primarily used in Indian cuisine as a thickening/binding agent in their recipes. They are most popular in India and Pakistan, but they can be also purchased in specialty grocery stores and websites in America. The mild taste can be a benefit and help the other flavors take over. It also means that the white poppy seeds can be used in Indian beverages as well.


Hopefully you have learned more about the three main colors of poppy seeds. All three can be used in ways to benefit your next meal or dessert. We have chosen to carry blue poppy seeds, and we use this color for our baked goods. You may decide a different color is right for you; there is no “right” answer for everyone.

If you have any questions or have used blue, black, or white poppy seeds in special ways, please leave a comment below. Our community benefits from your knowledge. Thank you for reading and sharing.


  1. Clay Butler on December 5, 2023 at 4:36 pm

    My wife makes Poppy Seed Cakes for Xmas and Easter. She originally used black and overtime switched to blue. I personally find that the blue are butter when she used to use the black the cakes came were way less bitter. She uses sugar in the poppy seed mix. My family is of Polish and Ukranian decent and have always made cake for the holidays and don’t ever remember the cakes tasting bitter.

    • Lone Goose Bakery on December 5, 2023 at 10:29 pm

      Thanks for the comment, that is a great observation. The blue poppy seeds can be bitter, and the sugar in the recipe can be used to offset some of the natural bitterness, or the black poppy seeds you mentioned could be used.

  2. Rupert Frost on April 21, 2023 at 6:09 pm

    Do you sell white seeds?

    • Lone Goose Bakery on April 21, 2023 at 7:47 pm

      No, not at this moment, but we’re open to providing in the future if demand is there. Thanks for reaching out, Rupert!

  3. Craig Walters on April 3, 2023 at 7:53 am

    Blue poppy seeds are the best in my opinion. I’ve heard of your blue bird seeds but this is the first time buying.

    Are most grocery store seeds black?

    • Lone Goose Bakery on April 4, 2023 at 8:46 am

      Craig – Thanks for the compliment and for being a customer! Grocery store seeds are mostly lower quality blue seeds that have been chemically treated to extend shelf life. Unfortunately, this negatively impacts flavor. I appreciate the comment and that you read this post.

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