Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Opium poppy, Papaver somniferum,

via wikipedia
Old Botanical Print 1885
In the garden are many beautiful Opium poppies. Enormous big fat flower buds opening into red and pink flowers. They usually have single petals but some of them have produced complex frilly red flowers.
We have no idea where they came from, they are another of natures bountiful gifts to arrive in the garden.
Opium poppy cultivation in the United Kingdom does not require a license, but extracting opium for medicinal products does.
Their seeds make a delicious topping on bread, apparently they can also be dry roasted, ground and added to curry paste.
For me, this image recalls the organic inspiration behind an Art Nouveau fabric or wallpaper design. 
wild Poppy and wild Foxgloves together

20 comments:

  1. Great photos of the poppies, superb.

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  2. Ahhhh, such wonderful photographs! It really does make me sigh! The colors match so perfectly together - it's a marvel once again! Thanks, Rosemary! Christa

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    1. Dear Christa - they really are marvels, and I have no idea how they came here. I have noticed that several gardens in the area have clumps of them this year. They must have been carried to our gardens on the wind.

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  3. Oooooo, you're sooooo lucky to have these in your garden!!!! I adore poppies and have tried to sow them sooooo many times in the garden(there must be thousand of poppyseeds in our soil by now) but nothing works, disturbing the soil, adding sand to it, sowing them in wintertime so they have their coldperiod, they just won't grow here. I try them in pots EVERY year, yes, really, I do, but that doesn't work either. Some people will say they're the easiest plants, they pop up everywhere in the garden, but not at our place. I love the poppies in your garden though. Thanks for sharing. That big full red one is very special, think I never saw that kind before. Also really like that botanical print on top.
    Bye,
    Marian

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    1. Dear Marian - I am delighted with them, and they came of their own accord which is even better. As I mentioned above, I have noticed several gardens nearby also have lots of them too. Its a mystery, may be we will have none next year!!! We shall just have to wait and see what happens. I shall certainly split open the ripe poppy heads when they are ready and scatter them around. I certainly wasn't expecting the red one to have such a lot of frilly petals.

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  4. My opium poppies come and go - some years there are none, but they usually re-visit after I've cleared and re-dug a patch. Lovely!

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    1. You are right Nilly, opium poppies are rather mercurial - just because they are here this year, it doesn't mean they will visit again next year. Hopefully as the soil will be so full of their seeds, they will re-emerge again at some stage.

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  5. Dear Rosemary, Oh, these are beautiful photographs. I love all varieties of poppies, Shirley Poppies, Icelandic Poppies, Opium Poppies, annual and perennial varieties. They also show up in my garden in unexpected places. But I always make sure that I collect seeds every year, especially from those plants which are special.
    Be sure to singe their stems over a flame for 15 seconds if you want to enjoy them in the house.

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    1. Dear Gina - these poppies seem to be really organic with their bendy stems and big fat buds, they remind me of an Art Nouveau fabric or wallpaper.
      I love all poppies too. We also have lots of California poppies which have migrated from being just bright orange to become lots of different colours.
      Good tip re: singe the stems - thank you.
      Hope those fires are under control now.

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  6. I love poppies! Your photos are wonderful. I especially love the red frilly ones.

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    1. Thanks Marie - poppies seem to have universal appeal. In particular, I like the tissue paper quality of their petals and their vibrancy.

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  7. Poppies are a beautiful artwork of mother nature. Great captured Rosemary.

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    1. I agree Marijke - although the rain has been extensive this year, the flowers seem to have enjoyed it.

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  8. Dear Rosemary,
    Beautiful photos of the gorgeous poppies.
    Mette

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    1. Dear Mette - the weather may have been decidedly off for we humans this year, but these beautiful poppies are flourishing and loving it.

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  9. Beautiful pictures, Rosemary! I'm always amazed that these massive, fragile flowers can be held up to bloom on such long wobbly stems.

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    1. Dear Rosemary - the poppies have been an absolute joy this year - They are amazing, I agree, standing about a metre high on those wobbly stems.

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  10. How lucky to have self sown Poppies in such a fluffy double form as well as the single. We once scattered thousands of poppy seeds in the front garden and were rewarded with an intense display although the sight raised the suspicions of our regular Postman who gave us most dissaproving looks that summer!

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    1. Dear Paul - I think that you need huge meadows full to extract anything from them. Did they not come up again the next year? They seem to be a bit hit and miss as to whether they return or not.

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