The poppy is probably the most dramatic of wildflowers and, when seen en masse, can be a breathtaking site. A poppy is any of a number of showy flowers, typically with one per stem, belonging to the poppy family. They include a number of attractive wildflower species with showy flowers found growing singularly or in large groups, many species are also grown in gardens. Those that are grown in gardens include large plants used in a mixed herbaceous boarder and small plants that are grown in rock or alpine gardens.

The flower colour of poppy species include: white, pink, yellow, orange, red and blue, some have dark center markings. The species that have been cultivated for many years also include many other colours ranging from dark solid colours to soft pastel shades. The center of the flower has a whorl of stamens surrounded by a cup or bowl shaped collection of 4 to 6 petals. Prior to blooming, the petals are crumpled in bud and as blooming finishes the petals often lay flat before falling away.

The red poppy is a symbol of war, suffering and sacrifice. This stems from the ability of its seeds to lie dormant for decades, only to bloom spectacularly when the soil is disturbed. The massive disturbances during trench construction in Flanders during the 1st World War produced spectacular displayes and gave root to the flower’s powerful symbolism.

Red Poppies, Scotland
Papaver rhoeas


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