Eomecon chionantha

Snow poppy

Also known as:

Chinese woodland poppy, Chinese bloodroot, dawn poppy

Family: Papaveraceae

Origin: China

A cluster of snow poppies.
A plant that prefers moist soils but can grow in low light conditions such as the forest floor. Can invade into native forest and out-compete native plants.
Photo credit: Weedbusters

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • National Pest Plant Accord Species
  • Whole region — Sustained control

View more about the RPMP statuses

General description

Low growing perennial herb. Stems ooze orange sap when crushed. Leaves are small, oval, heart-shaped, leathery and scalloped. Flowers are four-petalled and white/yellow with golden stamens.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • You must not breed, distribute, release or sell snow poppy. As snow poppy is a National Pest Plant Accord species, these restrictions apply within the Auckland region and across the whole of New Zealand.
  • You must not plant snow poppy within the Auckland region, unless you are transferring an existing plant on your land to another location within the boundaries of the same property.
  • You must destroy any snow poppy on land that you occupy if it has been planted in breach of the above rules and you are directed to do so by an authorised person.


Forests, moist soils.


Vegetative spread from rhizomes, stem and root fragments. Human-mediated dispersal through dumping of garden waste. Possibly spreads through seeds.

Impact on environment

Forms dense mats, smothering native vegetation and preventing native seedling establishment.


Site Management

Follow up treated areas 3 times per year. Encourage natural regeneration of native plants or replant treated areas where possible after 2-3 treatments to establish dense ground cover and minimise reinvasion.

Recommended approaches

Physical control

Method: Dig out.

Plant parts requiring disposal: All parts.

Disposal options: Remove to greenwaste or landfill.


Biocontrol is currently not available for this species.

Community agrichemical control recommendations

No qualifications: Foliar spray with 200ml glyphosate green per 10L of water.

Certified Handler/Experienced agrichemical user: Foliar spray with 200ml glyphosate green per 10L of water and 10ml penetrant.

Caution: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Close up of snow poppy flower.
Stems ooze an orange sap when the stems are broken. Flowers have four white petals and bright yellow stamens.
Photo credit: Weedbusters
Snow poppy flowers on tall thin stalks above flat leaves.
A low growing perennial herb that has leaves that grow around 70cm tall. White flowers grow on long brown stems high above the leaves.
Photo credit: Weedbusters
Close up of two snow poppy flowers.
Underground rhizomes are formed and spread under the surface of the soil. New plants can grow from rhizome or plant fragments.
Photo credit: Weedbusters
Close up of a snow poppy.
Small plants can be hand pulled but need to be composted thoroughly to kill all plant parts. Can apply a herbicide to the leaves to kill the whole plant.
Photo credit: Weedbusters