Description from Flora of China
Herbs, annual, throughout long setose. Taproot terete, long and slender, attenuate toward base. Stems erect, 20-30(-45) cm tall, branched close to ground, moderately setose. Basal leaves long petiolate, narrowly ovate to narrowly lanceolate, including petiole 3-10 cm, both surfaces sparsely long setose, pinnatipartite or pinnatisect to bipinnatifid; lobes lanceolate, sparsely serrate or rarely pinnatipartite again. Lower cauline leaves long petiolate, upper ones shortly petiolate to almost sessile, like basal leaves but generally less dissected. Flowers 1(or 2) at stem or branch apices, 3.5-5.5 cm in diam. Pedicel 3-7 cm, slightly flat, sparsely long setose. Flower buds nutant, oval, 1-1.2 cm, densely long setose, terminating in a pair of hollow hornlike projections. Sepals 2, caducous, cymbiform. Petals 4, scarlet, with a prominent black, often white-edged, basal blotch, flabellate-obovate or suborbicular, 2-3.5 cm. Stamens many; filaments purplish red, filiform, 4-5 mm, gradually broader upward; anthers violet or blackish, oblong, ca. 1 mm; pollen blue. Ovary ovoid or oval in outline, 5-10 mm, densely yellow setose, usually longitudinally 5-7-costate; stigmas 4-8(-11)-rayed. Capsule oval or oblong, ca. 1 cm, costate, densely yellow setose. Fl. Apr-Jul. 2n = 12.
Various color forms have been recognized but are of little consequence taxonomically. White-flowered forms are assigned to Papaver pavoninum f. album X. J. Ge (Bull. Bot. Res., Harbin 11(1): 55. 1991) and are recorded from Xinjiang (Gongliu) at ca. 900 m.
Stony slopes on low mountains, grasslands at field sides, arable lands; ca. 900 m. Xinjiang [Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, S Russia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan; SW Asia (Iran)].