Species: Common Poppy (Papaver rhoeas)

Family: Poppies (PAPAVERACEAE)

Category: Flowering Plants

Location: NW

A. Flowering Plants

More extensive information on flowering plants can be found in a separate blog post.

B. Poppies (PAPAVERACEAE)

This family is important for the members that have pharmaceutical uses, many characterised by milky or coloured sap.

C. Common Poppy (Papaver rhoeas)

Our wild annual poppy flowers from June. It was a common sight in agricultural areas, before the advent of herbicides, as the seeds survive a long time in the soil, germinating when the soil is disturbed.

Poppy extracts have a mildly narcotic effect. The poppy is called the 'thunder flower' because of the belief that if a stranger sees a maiden pick one it will thunder above that spot. The rarity of this event may indicate a shortage of maidens. If a picked poppy's petals fall the picker will be struck by lightning. Certain preparations, such as for tonsillitis, use the petals, but generally it is the seeds that are used for their nutty taste. They are commonly used in bread making. Paste the freshly shaped loaf with beaten egg and sprinkle on the seeds. Make cuts along the top then bake after proving. The seeds can also be kneaded into the dough, or folded into cake, bun or biscuit mixtures.

Images

Common Poppy

Our wild annual poppy flowers from June. The seeds survive a long time in the soil, germinating when the soil is disturbed.