The life of the poppy flower is so short I thought I would document it in images but before that here are some interesting facts you may not know about the flower which represents so much.
The use of opium poppies goes back to Sumer – an ancient civilization, which recorded their use in the form of images.
Enormous poppy fields feature in both the film and book version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – a chapter in the book itself is even entitled ‘The Deadly Poppy Field’
Major John McCrae’s poem, In Flander’s Fields, was supposedly written on the evening of the 2 May, 1915, during the Second Battle of Ypres, in memory of his friend, Alexis Helmer
The poppy’s use in medicine was reworked in George R.R.Martin’s Game of Thrones – where a medicine entitled ‘milk of the poppy’ is used.
Poppies bloom from mid-June right through to October.
Persian literature cites red corn poppies as the flower of love.
Poppies are frequently found weeds on agricultural land, however they were welcomed as they proved the soil was fertile.
Opium poppies are grown commercially in Berkshire, Dorset, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Lincolnshire and Wiltshire for use in medical opiates such as morphine.
Poppy seeds can remain active in the soil for 8 years.
Many different garden strains exist, such as Shirley poppy, Iceland poppy, California poppy, Himalayan and Welsh.
Poppies are featured on the back of Canadian $20 notes.
Poppy seeds do contain opium alkaloids, meaning that if poppy seeds are ingested, in the most innocent of ways, it can give false readings during a drugs test. As a result, people travelling on planes between countries are advised not to carry poppy seeds, and in Singapore they are classified as ‘prohibited goods’.
Average seed numbers per plant can range from 10,000 to 60,000.
Opium poppies feature on the Royal College of Anaesthetists coat of arms.