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For years, I mistakenly thought that this is the kind of poppy that you get opium from. But I was wrong.


The kinds and varieties of poppies are numerous.

I’ve been growing poppies for years, but only because they’re such pretty flowers. Seems I could have kept myself painfree for years now, if I had harvested the sticky latex-like goo that runs out of the seed pods if you score them. I have no interest in going to a lot of trouble to make a tiny smidgeon of opium. I have Advil in my medicine cabinet and that will do for small aches and pains.


What surprised me is that opium (and then, morphine) is made from many different kinds of poppies. This delicate flower hardly looks capable of producing opium. Such an innocent!019

I have a feeling that these types, with the feathery leaves, are not used for that kind of harvest anyway.


But now we’re getting into the right kind.

012These purple poppies are the kind you see in opium fields. I grew them because I love the colour. I had no idea I could have started a lucrative business.

Below you’ll see the same kind but they have a tinge of red.


Then we have the extra special ones that have many more petals than the usual poppies. Looks like a peony and I think that’s its common name (peony poppy).


This pink one (below) came from a store in town. I suppose it’s been kidnapped, in a way. I was waiting for the Captain to finish some business while I waited outside the store. Right beside me a window box of poppies with beautiful pink double (quadruple) petals decorated the storefront. One finished bloom sported a dried up seed pod. I snapped off the pod and put it in my pocket. It looked like it should be free for the taking. I felt a twinge of guilt, but reasoned that if the owner had been there she would have said, “Of course. Go ahead.” I treasured that seed pod for months until it was time to plant the seeds the next spring. What you see below is the second generation of my “stolen” seeds. I silently thank the lady at the store whenever I see her progeny in bloom.


And last of all,  a Eurasian collared dove visits a non-opium poppy. She’s eating corn from under the birdfeeder. She’s not too interested in those orange poppies that somehow made it all the way up here from California just to grow wild in my yard.025a

So if you ever have an “owie” just come on over and I’ll mix you up a potion from those purple poppies to take your pain away.

Warning: It may take a while to make up, and there is no guarantee of the potency or lack of it.

On second thought, maybe a Band-aid and a glass of wine would be a better idea.

Author: wordsfromanneli

Writing, travel, photography, nature, more writing....

38 thoughts on “Poppies

  1. Great and informative post. I love poppies – can never see enough of them. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Poppies in your backyard. Cool.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’d love to have a glass of wine while admiring your beautiful poppies, Anneli. Great post and photographs!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a wonderful collection of poppies! Thanks for sharing those great photos. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely flowers with an interesting history.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Like I commented on another blog [http://tinyurl.com/hpwbczg] – interesting coincidence – just a few minutes ago: poppies are always wonderful to see and to take pictures of.
    Have a wonderful day,

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love poppies too. Would love to see one of those fields of red poppies in real life … and to take photos there, of course. It’s one of my favourite flowers … the blood red one, in particular.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You have a terrific selection of poppies! Their blossoms are spectacular! I have a few just like the one in the first photo but have no idea where they came from: I just enjoy them.Their beauty expands the mind: it’s too bad that so many people use parts of them to destroy theirs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, you’re right there! It’s such a shame. And yet the morphine we get from poppies has done a lot of good in relieving pain. Like anything good, there’s always someone who will spoil it. In this case, many who spoil it.


  9. Apparently my Ukrainian grandmother and her sister grew the opium poppies, but the RCMP never bothered them because they knew the old ladies were using the seeds for baking.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I tried opium once when I was 18, at a Blind Faith concert. I remember that everything was beautifully coloured, I just couldn’t get over the colour, maybe that’s why they are themselves so colourful and beautiful . Great pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve never done it, but I suppose as long as it didn’t do you any harm, you can now look back on it as a learning experience and remember those beautiful colours. It would be easy to be tempted to see those beautiful colours more often and then have trouble though.


  11. Love the photos of your poppies. I never tire of looking at them, along with the poppies in my garden. They are all so different from each other. I’ve been collecting the seed pods as well, and perhaps this will be the year I plant them all. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • This year, I didn’t plant any of the seeds I’ve saved and I’ve had to pull out so many plants. I felt terrible pulling them out like weeds, but I’ve still left some to grow in places where they don’t belong. I’d have them everywhere but I do want a few vegetables in my garden.


  12. I know nothing about plants, and this was a fun way to learn about poppies. This is how ignorant I am on the subject … whenever I hear the word “poppies,” I think of the scene in the Wizard of Oz where the witch is looking into her giant crystal ball at Dorothy and her friends. She waves her magic over it and says, “Poppies will make them sleep.” Then Dorothy, the Lion and Toto fall asleep in a field of poppies. 😀
    Must be a delightful sight to see out in your yard everyday. Do they have a scent?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve never noticed a scent, but maybe if I stuck my nose right in their faces, they might have a slight scent. Now I’ll have to go out and have a sniff. But it’s not pronounced like the scent of roses, anyway. The sleep-inducing quality of the poppies in the Wizard of Oz has to be a spin-off from the opium connection. And so is the expression my mother often quoted, that eating poppy seeds makes you stupid. She said it as an old saying from her childhood, but she knew it was just a joke (with those old superstitious connections to opium).

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Dorothy would be “affected” by the “effects” of the poppies, but then the doctor could “effect” a cure. It’s a funny word.


  14. I’m another person who enjoys colorful poppies in the garden. I used to grow them when I lived up north but these days my thumb’s not so green. The Mid-south weather isn’t kind. Thanks for sharing these beautiful photos Anneli.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I love poppies, they are so very beautiful. I also love the seeds from those which they grow in big fields here. They are in a lot of baked goods. Your photos are outstanding, thanks for sharing all the info about them.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Back in the day when I was in primary school, once a week, someone came around selling poppies for 50c. I can’t remember the cause though.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Would be interesting to know what for. They sell paper (now plastic) poppies here for Remembrance Day.


  18. These are all so gorgeous! Wow, I just love how they have that wrinkled silk look. I thought there was one type of poppy and that was what opium was made from. Silly me!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Amazing variety. And educational post. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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