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Field Poppy

A pretty wild flower, Field Poppy is considered to be a prominent weed. Scientifically known as Papaver rhoeas, this lovely flowering plant belongs to the vast poppy family called Papaveraceae. Since its origin is not well known it has been considered to be coming along with agriculture itself.

Descriptive Analysis
A regular annual plant, Field Poppy grows in agricultural areas. Though it is considered to be an aggressive weed however for ages it has proved to be a useful crop as well. A nitrogen fixer, this weed has also been established itself as a soil nourishing crop. It is generally found abundantly in agricultural regions of North and South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Virginia.

 
Sprouting up from a strong tap root system Field Poppy is a well known weed. The basal stem is often erect in shape and is typically green in color with a little purplish base. The distinct stem bears spiny hair which give it a scabrous appearance. The sessile leaves are pinnately divided and arranged on each side of the stem alternatively. Finally at the tip of the little stem blooms a flower usually round in shape. It comprises of 5-6 petals broadly spread to give it an attractive appearance. The flower bears yellow brown anthers which are open for the insects to pollinate easily.
 

Historical Journey
Most often Field Poppy is said to be a native of America and Europe. However it seems that Field Poppy most probably originated in the places where agriculture started. Therefore its best to estimate that this weed flower sprouted with agriculture itself. The mysterious origin of this flower weed is still unclear due to lack of evidences. However certain historical clues do point out that since time immemorial, Field Poppy has been linked with agriculture.

Its numerous properties have lead to the conclusion that at certain point of time, it was a partially grown crop. Like various other cereals, it has an annual life cycle. Its sturdy tolerance of weedicides

and other simpler weed removal processes imply that at times it might have been a weed and thus has developed immunity towards all this. Not only this, the flower is self cultivating as it keeps on multiplying after one life cycle.
 

Advantages
Though Field Poppy is a weed amongst other commercial crops but it has got few advantages to its share. Today around the world various species of this flower has been cultivated for more than one purposes. The red colored flowers are not only attractive but they have various qualities hidden beneath. Following are a few uses of Field Poppy :

One of the most beautiful species of this flower is known as Shirley Poppy. This flower is extremely beautiful and finds usage in ornamental purposes and various other decorative tasks.

The seeds of Field Poppy are often used as a condiment or to add flavor to various food items.


The seeds are also used in baking and make up for a nice vegetable. Not only the seeds but the fresh green parts are also consumed as vegetables.

The fleshy red petals add flavor and color to syrups and other beverages or drinks. So much so that red poppy syrup is a traditional beverage of many Mediterranean regions.

 

Field Poppy and Symbolism
An integral part of agriculture, Field Poppy has won itself a fair title of agro fertilizer. Its long relationship with the soil and the other crops delivers in a profitable manner as it leads to increase in soil fertility.

The wild flower has also become a memorial symbol of World War 1. An important flower to be associated with the remeberance day in the commonwealth countries. The red color freshens up the bitter memories of the world war and represent the military veterans who lost their lives in the same.

 

Interesting Facts
As the flower is greatly associated with the rememberance day, in Canada special quarter coins have been released in the memory of the war as a tribute to the military veterans who lost their lives in the deadly war.
The White Poppy, a symbol of peace is worn as an alternative to the red poppy for Remembrance Day. It is dedicated to the purpose of paying homage to the innocent war victims and pray for peace as well.

John McCrae wrote a wonderful poem known as "In Flanders Fields" totally dedicated to the world war and its crisis. As the Flanders was totally scattered with Poppy flowers therefore the poem justified the symbolic relation between the world war and the poppy flower.

Red poppy syrup made by a well blended mixture of Field Poppy flowers and is a traditional beverage of Mediterranean regions like Bozcaada.

A Cautionary Word
The leaves of Field Poppy are slightly poisonous and might do harm to the grazing animals.

 
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