Gene silencing studies are increasingly being used to unravel the role of developmental genes. Hidalgo et al. report the establishment of virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) in Cysticapnos vesicaria, a member of the fumarioid clade within the poppy family (Papaveraceae). They find that silencing of the PHYTOENE DESATURASE gene is very effective in all shoot organs, and successful silencing of a flower meristem gene is also demonstrated. The results make C. vesicaria a very promising new focus species for evolutionary–developmental studies, enabling comparative studies of flower symmetry, inflorescence determinacy and other traits that have diversified in the Papaveraceae.