Catching The Early Sunlight

Opium Poppy Papaver somniferum

Last night was a very hot and close one, so sleep was quite restless. So up early to find this Opium Poppy (Papaver somniferum) flower catching the first rays of sunlight.

Opium Poppy Papaver somniferum

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June 2018, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

Opening Mid-summer II

Opium Poppy Papaver somniferum

Opium Poppy Papaver somniferum

Now if this plant grows feet and start walking about the garden I will be worried. There has been no meteor showers of late, has there? Although it does look like it is about to ballet dance around the flowerbed to me.

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Opium Poppy (Papaver somniferum) June 2018, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

Opening Mid-summer

Opium Poppy Papaver somniferum

Every few years (actually quite a few numbers of years can pass) and one of these beautiful Opium Poppies (Papaver somniferum) will just appear out of nowhere in my back garden. This one is quite a monster in size and has many heads like the mythical Hydra.

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June 2018, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

Opium Poppy

Papaver somniferum

Opium Poppy Papaver somniferum

This beautiful scrunched tissue-like bloom has appeared as of nowhere in my garden but a few times over the years. It is a tall and hairy poppy, with large flower heads of pink to reddish-pink and purple. The leaves are a bluish-green, and shallowly lobed.

Opium Poppy Papaver somniferum

It flowers June to August, and can be found in gardens, and waste ground as an escape. Introduced to the British Isles and cultivated in antiquity. Scarce in Scotland and Ireland, but common and widespread elsewhere.

It used to be called the ‘Common Garden Poppy’, for it was widely used as an ornamental plant, but today it is frowned upon because of its use in illegal drugs like heroine and opium. But it is also used in medicine as a pain relief such as codeine.