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Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A poppy is any of a number of colorful flowers, typically with one per stem, belonging to the poppy family. They include a number of attractive wildflower species with colorful 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 border and small plants that are grown in rock or alpine gardens.

Poppies on Lake Geneva in Montreux.
Yellow or California poppy, in New Delhi.
The Field or Corn poppy Papaver rhoeas.
Poppies in a Polish field.

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

The pollen of the oriental poppy, Papaver orientale, is dark blue. The pollen of the field poppy or corn poppy (Papaver rhoeas) is dark blue to grey. Bees will use poppies as a pollen source.

Poppies may be found in the genera:

Contents

Uses

All species of poppies are attractive and most are cultivated as ornamental garden plants. A few species have other uses, principally as sources of drugs and foods. One species is so widely used, for both drugs and food, that its world production is monitored by international agencies. That species is the opium poppy, Papaver somniferum. It is grown for opium and opiates obtained from it, poppy seed for use in cooking and baking, poppyseed oil for both culinary and other uses, and as an ornamental garden plant.

Symbolism

Poppies have long been used as a symbol of both sleep and death: sleep because of the opium extracted from them, and death because of their (commonly) blood-red color. In Greco-Roman myths, poppies were used as offerings to the dead.[1] Poppies are used as emblems on tombstones to symbolize eternal sleep. This aspect was used, fictionally, in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to create magical poppy fields, dangerous because they caused those who passed through them to sleep forever.[1]

A second meaning for the depiction and use of poppies in Greco-Roman myths is the symbolism of the bright scarlet colour as signifying the promise of resurrection after death.[2]

Plastic Remembrance Day poppies
Poppy worn on the lapel

The poppy of wartime remembrance is Papaver rhoeas, the red flowered Corn poppy. This poppy is a common weed in Europe and is found in many locations, including Flanders Fields, the setting for the famous poem by Canadian surgeon and soldier, John McCrae, "In Flanders Fields".

The California poppy, Eschscholzia californica, is the state flower of California.

In Mexico, Grupo Modelo, the makers of Corona beer, used red poppy flowers in its advertising (almost any image it used had poppy flowers somewhere in the image) until the 1960s.

A poppy flower is depicted on the reverse of the Macedonian 500 denars banknote, issued in 1996 and 2003.[3]

The powerful symbolism of Papaver rhoeas has been borrowed by various advocacy campaigns. These include the White Poppy and Simon Topping's black poppy.The name Poppy was taken from the flower.

Gallery of poppy images

See also

References

  1. ^ a b L. Frank Baum, Michael Patrick Hearn, The Annotated Wizard of Oz, p 173, ISBN 0-517-500868
  2. ^ Robert Graves, The Greek Myths, 24. 15 p 96, ISBN 0-14-001026-2
  3. ^ National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia. Macedonian currency. Banknotes in circulation: 500 Denars (1996 issue) & 500 Denars (2003 issue). – Retrieved on 30 March 2009.
  4. ^ Dr. Hutchins, R. E. 1965. The Amazing Seeds.

1911 encyclopedia

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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also poppy

English

Proper noun

Singular
Poppy

Plural
-

Poppy

  1. (mostly U.K.): A female given name, a flower name used since the end of the 19th century.

Quotations

  • 2006 Alexander McCall Smith: Blue Shoes and Happiness: ISBN 1-904598-63-3 page 34-35:
    "It is a very pretty name, Mma. I should like to be called Poppy."
    The compliment drew a smile. "I used to be very embarrassed about it," said Poppy. "I used to try to hide my name from people. I thought it was a very silly name."
    Mma Ramotswe shook her head. There was nothing embarrassing about the name Poppy, but there was no telling what names people would find embarrassing.







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