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!
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.
These 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.
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.