Poppy
Overview
A poppy is one of a group of a flowering plant
Flowering plant
The flowering plants , also known as Angiospermae or Magnoliophyta, are the most diverse group of land plants. Angiosperms are seed-producing plants like the gymnosperms and can be distinguished from the gymnosperms by a series of synapomorphies...

s in the poppy family
Papaveraceae
Papaveraceae, informally known as the poppy family, are an economically important family of 44 genera and approximately 770 species of flowering plants in the order Ranunculales. The family is cosmopolitan, occurring in temperate and subtropical climates, but almost unknown in the tropics...

, many of which are grown in gardens for their colorful flowers. Poppies are sometimes used for symbolic reasons, such as in remembrance
Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. This day, or alternative dates, are also recognized as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth...

 of soldiers who have died during wartime.

Poppy flowers have 4 to 6 petals. The petals may be almost any color, and some have markings. Before blooming, the petals are crumpled in the bud
Bud
In botany, a bud is an undeveloped or embryonic shoot and normally occurs in the axil of a leaf or at the tip of the stem. Once formed, a bud may remain for some time in a dormant condition, or it may form a shoot immediately. Buds may be specialized to develop flowers or short shoots, or may have...

, and as blooming finishes, the petals often lie flat before falling away.
Discussions
Encyclopedia
A poppy is one of a group of a flowering plant
Flowering plant
The flowering plants , also known as Angiospermae or Magnoliophyta, are the most diverse group of land plants. Angiosperms are seed-producing plants like the gymnosperms and can be distinguished from the gymnosperms by a series of synapomorphies...

s in the poppy family
Papaveraceae
Papaveraceae, informally known as the poppy family, are an economically important family of 44 genera and approximately 770 species of flowering plants in the order Ranunculales. The family is cosmopolitan, occurring in temperate and subtropical climates, but almost unknown in the tropics...

, many of which are grown in gardens for their colorful flowers. Poppies are sometimes used for symbolic reasons, such as in remembrance
Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. This day, or alternative dates, are also recognized as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth...

 of soldiers who have died during wartime.

Poppy flowers have 4 to 6 petals. The petals may be almost any color, and some have markings. Before blooming, the petals are crumpled in the bud
Bud
In botany, a bud is an undeveloped or embryonic shoot and normally occurs in the axil of a leaf or at the tip of the stem. Once formed, a bud may remain for some time in a dormant condition, or it may form a shoot immediately. Buds may be specialized to develop flowers or short shoots, or may have...

, and as blooming finishes, the petals often lie flat before falling away. A whorl of stamen
Stamen
The stamen is the pollen producing reproductive organ of a flower...

s is in the center of the flower.

The pollen
Pollen
Pollen is a fine to coarse powder containing the microgametophytes of seed plants, which produce the male gametes . Pollen grains have a hard coat that protects the sperm cells during the process of their movement from the stamens to the pistil of flowering plants or from the male cone to the...

 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. Bee
Bee
Bees are flying insects closely related to wasps and ants, and are known for their role in pollination and for producing honey and beeswax. Bees are a monophyletic lineage within the superfamily Apoidea, presently classified by the unranked taxon name Anthophila...

s use poppies as a pollen source
Pollen source
The term pollen source is often used in the context of beekeeping and refers to flowering plants as a source of pollen for bees or other insects. Bees collect pollen as a protein source to raise their brood. For the plant, the pollinizer, this can be an important mechanism for sexual reproduction,...

.

Poppies belong to genera
Genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 of Papaveraceae
Papaveraceae
Papaveraceae, informally known as the poppy family, are an economically important family of 44 genera and approximately 770 species of flowering plants in the order Ranunculales. The family is cosmopolitan, occurring in temperate and subtropical climates, but almost unknown in the tropics...

, which includes:
  • Papaver
    Papaver
    Papaver is a genus of 70-100 species of frost-tolerant annuals, biennials, and perennials native to temperate and cold regions of Eurasia, Africa and North America. It is the type genus of the poppy family, Papaveraceae.-Description:...

    – corn poppy, Opium poppy
    Opium poppy
    Opium poppy, Papaver somniferum, is the species of plant from which opium and poppy seeds are extracted. Opium is the source of many opiates, including morphine , thebaine, codeine, papaverine, and noscapine...

    , Oriental poppy, Iceland poppy, and about 120 other species
  • Eschscholzia
    Eschscholzia
    Eschscholzia is a genus of 12 annual or perennial plants in the Papaveraceae family. The genus was named after the Baltic German botanist Johann Friedrich von Eschscholtz .-Description:...

    California poppy
    California poppy
    The California poppy is a perennial and annual plant, native to the United States, and the official state flower of California.- Description :...

     and relatives
  • Meconopsis
    Meconopsis
    Meconopsis is a genus of flowering plants in the family Papaveraceae. The species have attractive flowers and have two distinct ranges. A single species, Meconopsis cambrica , is indigenous to England, Wales, Ireland, and the fringes of Western Europe. The other 40 or so species are found in the...

    Welsh poppy
    Welsh poppy
    The Welsh poppy is a perennial plant of the family Papaveraceae. Its habitat is damp, shady places on rocky ground, and it is native to south-western England, Wales, Ireland and Western Europe. In its most western locations, it is increasingly found on more open ground with less cover.It has...

    , Nepal poppy
    Nepal poppy
    The Nepal poppy is a plant of the family Papaveraceae. The plant contains beta-carbolines, which act as a psychedelic drug. However, its phytochemistry remains predominatly unstudied....

    , and relatives
  • Stylophorum
    Stylophorum
    Stylophorum is a genus of three species of herbaceous perennial plants native to woodland in eastern North America and China.Stems are bristly, and leaves are lobed and have wavy edges....

    – Celandine poppy or wood poppy
  • Argemone
    Argemone
    Argemone is a genus of flowering plants in the family Papaveraceae. It contains 30 to 32 species, commonly known as prickly poppies, that are native to the Americas and Hawaii...

    – Prickly poppy
  • Anemone coronaria
    Anemone coronaria
    Anemone coronaria is a species of flowering plant in the genus Anemone, native to the Mediterranean region.-Description:...

    - Poppy anemone, Spanish marigold
  • Romneya – Matilija poppy and relatives
  • Canbya
    Canbya
    Canbya, also known as the "pygmy poppies", is a genus of the poppy family Papaveraceae consisting of two species found in the dry parts of western North America...

    – Pygmy poppy
  • Stylomecon
    Stylomecon
    Stylomecon is a genus of annual plant in the family Papaveraceae. It has only one species, Stylomecon heterophylla, the Wind Poppy, which is native to California and north western Mexico....

    – Wind poppy
  • Arctomecon
    Arctomecon
    Arctomecon is a genus of the poppy family Papaveraceae commonly called the bear poppies or bear-paw poppies, after the distinctive appearance of the leaves...

    – Desert bearpaw poppy
  • Hunnemannia – Tulip poppy
  • Dendromecon
    Dendromecon
    Dendromecon, the tree poppy, is a genus of one or two species of shrubs to small trees, native to California and northern Baja California. The leaves are evergreen, alternate, lanceolate to ovate, 3-10 cm long...

    – Tree poppy

Uses

Most species of poppies are attractive and are cultivated as ornamental plant
Ornamental plant
Ornamental plants are plants that are grown for decorative purposes in gardens and landscape design projects, as house plants, for cut flowers and specimen display...

s. A few species have other uses, principally as sources of drugs and foods. The opium poppy
Opium poppy
Opium poppy, Papaver somniferum, is the species of plant from which opium and poppy seeds are extracted. Opium is the source of many opiates, including morphine , thebaine, codeine, papaverine, and noscapine...

 (Papaver somniferum) is so widely used, for both drugs and food, that its worldwide production is monitored by international agencies. It yields opium
Opium
Opium is the dried latex obtained from the opium poppy . Opium contains up to 12% morphine, an alkaloid, which is frequently processed chemically to produce heroin for the illegal drug trade. The latex also includes codeine and non-narcotic alkaloids such as papaverine, thebaine and noscapine...

 and opiate
Opiate
In medicine, the term opiate describes any of the narcotic opioid alkaloids found as natural products in the opium poppy plant.-Overview:Opiates are so named because they are constituents or derivatives of constituents found in opium, which is processed from the latex sap of the opium poppy,...

s, poppy seed
Poppy seed
Poppy seed is an oilseed obtained from the opium poppy . The tiny kidney-shaped seeds have been harvested from dried seed pods by various civilizations for thousands of years...

s for use in cooking and baking, and poppyseed oil
Poppyseed oil
Poppyseed oil is an edible oil from poppy seeds . The oil has culinary and pharmaceutical uses, as well as long established uses in the making of paints, varnishes, and soaps.Poppy seeds yield 45–50% oil...

 for culinary and other uses, and is also cultivated as an ornamental plant.

Symbolism

Poppies have long been used as a symbol of both sleep, peace and death: sleep because of the opium extracted from them, and death because of the common blood-red color of the red poppy in particular. In Greek and Roman myths, poppies were used as offerings to the dead. Poppies used as emblems on tombstones
Headstone
A headstone, tombstone, or gravestone is a marker, usually stone, that is placed over a grave. In most cases they have the deceased's name, date of birth, and date of death inscribed on them, along with a personal message, or prayer.- Use :...

 symbolize eternal sleep. This symbolism was evoked in the children's novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a children's novel written by L. Frank Baum and illustrated by W. W. Denslow. Originally published by the George M. Hill Company in Chicago on May 17, 1900, it has since been reprinted numerous times, most often under the name The Wizard of Oz, which is the name of...

, in which a magical poppy field threatened to make the protagonists sleep forever.

A second interpretation of poppies in Classical mythology is that the bright scarlet colour signifies a promise of resurrection after death.

The poppy of wartime remembrance is Papaver rhoeas, the red-flowered corn poppy. This poppy is a common weed
Weed
A weed in a general sense is a plant that is considered by the user of the term to be a nuisance, and normally applied to unwanted plants in human-controlled settings, especially farm fields and gardens, but also lawns, parks, woods, and other areas. More specifically, the term is often used to...

 in Europe and is found in many locations, including Flanders
Flanders
Flanders is the community of the Flemings but also one of the institutions in Belgium, and a geographical region located in parts of present-day Belgium, France and the Netherlands. "Flanders" can also refer to the northern part of Belgium that contains Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp...

, the setting of the famous poem "In Flanders Fields
In Flanders Fields
"In Flanders Fields" is one of the most notable poems written during World War I, created in the form of a French rondeau. It has been called "the most popular poem" produced during that period...

," by the Canadian surgeon and soldier John McCrae
John McCrae
Lieutenant Colonel John Alexander McCrae was a Canadian poet, physician, author, artist and soldier during World War I and a surgeon during the Second Battle of Ypres...

. In Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, artificial poppies (plastic in Canada, paper in the UK, Australia and New Zealand) are worn to commemorate those who died in war. This form of commemoration is associated with Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. This day, or alternative dates, are also recognized as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth...

, which falls on November 11. In Canada, Australia and the UK, poppies are often worn from the beginning of November through to the 11th, or Remembrance Sunday if that falls on a later date (November 13th in 2011). In New Zealand and Australia, soldiers are commemorated on ANZAC day (April 25), although the poppy is still commonly worn around Remembrance Day. Wearing of poppies was once a custom in the United States as well, and attempts have been made to revive the tradition in the US in connection with Memorial Day
Memorial Day
Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War...

 (end of May).

Medical uses

Ancient Egyptians doctors would have their patients eat seeds from a poppy to relieve pain. Modern science tells us why this worked: poppy seeds contain both morphine
Morphine
Morphine is a potent opiate analgesic medication and is considered to be the prototypical opioid. It was first isolated in 1804 by Friedrich Sertürner, first distributed by same in 1817, and first commercially sold by Merck in 1827, which at the time was a single small chemists' shop. It was more...

 and codeine
Codeine
Codeine or 3-methylmorphine is an opiate used for its analgesic, antitussive, and antidiarrheal properties...

, excellent pain-relieving drugs that are still used today.

Other uses

The California poppy
California poppy
The California poppy is a perennial and annual plant, native to the United States, and the official state flower of California.- Description :...

, Eschscholzia californica, is the state flower of California.

In Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, Grupo Modelo
Grupo Modelo
Grupo Modelo is a large brewery in Mexico, It has 63% of the Mexican beer market, and exports beer to the United Kingdom, United States and Canada . Its export brands include Corona, Modelo, and Pacífico...

, the makers of Corona
Corona (beer)
Corona Extra, better known as Corona and labeled as Coronita in Spain, is a brand of pale lager owned and produced by Cerveceria Modelo at a number of breweries in Mexico. It is one of the best-selling beers in Mexico and is one of the top-selling beers worldwide...

 beer, used red poppy flowers in most of its advertising images until the 1960s.

A poppy flower is depicted on the reverse
Obverse and reverse
Obverse and its opposite, reverse, refer to the two flat faces of coins and some other two-sided objects, including paper money, flags , seals, medals, drawings, old master prints and other works of art, and printed fabrics. In this usage, obverse means the front face of the object and reverse...

 of the Macedonian
Republic of Macedonia
Macedonia , officially the Republic of Macedonia , is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991...

 500 denars
Macedonian denar
The denar is the currency of the Republic of Macedonia. It is subdivided into 100 deni . The name denar comes from the name of the ancient Roman monetary unit, the denarius...

 banknote, issued in 1996 and 2003.

The powerful symbolism of Papaver rhoeas has been borrowed by various advocacy campaigns, such as the White Poppy
White Poppy
thumb|right|300px|Artificial poppies placed as [[Anzac Day]] tributes on a [[cenotaph]] in [[New Zealand]]; mostly [[red poppy#Symbol|red poppies]] marketed by the [[Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association]], with a lone [[White Poppy]]...

 and Simon Topping
Simon Topping
Simon Topping is a Methodist minister and faith leader based in Hucclecote in Gloucester, England, known for his campaign work in favour of ending world poverty.-Background:...

's black poppy.

The girl's given name Poppy is taken from the flower.

Poppies (Amapolas in Spanish) are commonly featured as the central flower in Puerto Rican weddings.

Artificial poppies (called "Buddy Poppies") are used in the veterans' aid campaign by the Veterans of Foreign Wars
Veterans of Foreign Wars
The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is a congressionally chartered war veterans organization in the United States. Headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, VFW currently has 1.5 million members belonging to 7,644 posts, and is the largest American organization of combat...

, which provides money to the veterans who assemble the poppies and various aid programs to veterans and their families.

Canada issued special quarters (25-cent coins) with a red poppy on the reverse in 2004, 2008 and 2010. The 2004 Canadian "poppy" quarter was the world's first coloured circulation coin.

Gallery

A poppy is one of a group of a flowering plant
Flowering plant
The flowering plants , also known as Angiospermae or Magnoliophyta, are the most diverse group of land plants. Angiosperms are seed-producing plants like the gymnosperms and can be distinguished from the gymnosperms by a series of synapomorphies...

s in the poppy family
Papaveraceae
Papaveraceae, informally known as the poppy family, are an economically important family of 44 genera and approximately 770 species of flowering plants in the order Ranunculales. The family is cosmopolitan, occurring in temperate and subtropical climates, but almost unknown in the tropics...

, many of which are grown in gardens for their colorful flowers. Poppies are sometimes used for symbolic reasons, such as in remembrance
Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. This day, or alternative dates, are also recognized as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth...

 of soldiers who have died during wartime.

Poppy flowers have 4 to 6 petals. The petals may be almost any color, and some have markings. Before blooming, the petals are crumpled in the bud
Bud
In botany, a bud is an undeveloped or embryonic shoot and normally occurs in the axil of a leaf or at the tip of the stem. Once formed, a bud may remain for some time in a dormant condition, or it may form a shoot immediately. Buds may be specialized to develop flowers or short shoots, or may have...

, and as blooming finishes, the petals often lie flat before falling away. A whorl of stamen
Stamen
The stamen is the pollen producing reproductive organ of a flower...

s is in the center of the flower.

The pollen
Pollen
Pollen is a fine to coarse powder containing the microgametophytes of seed plants, which produce the male gametes . Pollen grains have a hard coat that protects the sperm cells during the process of their movement from the stamens to the pistil of flowering plants or from the male cone to the...

 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. Bee
Bee
Bees are flying insects closely related to wasps and ants, and are known for their role in pollination and for producing honey and beeswax. Bees are a monophyletic lineage within the superfamily Apoidea, presently classified by the unranked taxon name Anthophila...

s use poppies as a pollen source
Pollen source
The term pollen source is often used in the context of beekeeping and refers to flowering plants as a source of pollen for bees or other insects. Bees collect pollen as a protein source to raise their brood. For the plant, the pollinizer, this can be an important mechanism for sexual reproduction,...

.

Poppies belong to genera
Genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 of Papaveraceae
Papaveraceae
Papaveraceae, informally known as the poppy family, are an economically important family of 44 genera and approximately 770 species of flowering plants in the order Ranunculales. The family is cosmopolitan, occurring in temperate and subtropical climates, but almost unknown in the tropics...

, which includes:
  • Papaver
    Papaver
    Papaver is a genus of 70-100 species of frost-tolerant annuals, biennials, and perennials native to temperate and cold regions of Eurasia, Africa and North America. It is the type genus of the poppy family, Papaveraceae.-Description:...

    – corn poppy, Opium poppy
    Opium poppy
    Opium poppy, Papaver somniferum, is the species of plant from which opium and poppy seeds are extracted. Opium is the source of many opiates, including morphine , thebaine, codeine, papaverine, and noscapine...

    , Oriental poppy, Iceland poppy, and about 120 other species
  • Eschscholzia
    Eschscholzia
    Eschscholzia is a genus of 12 annual or perennial plants in the Papaveraceae family. The genus was named after the Baltic German botanist Johann Friedrich von Eschscholtz .-Description:...

    California poppy
    California poppy
    The California poppy is a perennial and annual plant, native to the United States, and the official state flower of California.- Description :...

     and relatives
  • Meconopsis
    Meconopsis
    Meconopsis is a genus of flowering plants in the family Papaveraceae. The species have attractive flowers and have two distinct ranges. A single species, Meconopsis cambrica , is indigenous to England, Wales, Ireland, and the fringes of Western Europe. The other 40 or so species are found in the...

    Welsh poppy
    Welsh poppy
    The Welsh poppy is a perennial plant of the family Papaveraceae. Its habitat is damp, shady places on rocky ground, and it is native to south-western England, Wales, Ireland and Western Europe. In its most western locations, it is increasingly found on more open ground with less cover.It has...

    , Nepal poppy
    Nepal poppy
    The Nepal poppy is a plant of the family Papaveraceae. The plant contains beta-carbolines, which act as a psychedelic drug. However, its phytochemistry remains predominatly unstudied....

    , and relatives
  • Stylophorum
    Stylophorum
    Stylophorum is a genus of three species of herbaceous perennial plants native to woodland in eastern North America and China.Stems are bristly, and leaves are lobed and have wavy edges....

    – Celandine poppy or wood poppy
  • Argemone
    Argemone
    Argemone is a genus of flowering plants in the family Papaveraceae. It contains 30 to 32 species, commonly known as prickly poppies, that are native to the Americas and Hawaii...

    – Prickly poppy
  • Anemone coronaria
    Anemone coronaria
    Anemone coronaria is a species of flowering plant in the genus Anemone, native to the Mediterranean region.-Description:...

    - Poppy anemone, Spanish marigold
  • Romneya – Matilija poppy and relatives
  • Canbya
    Canbya
    Canbya, also known as the "pygmy poppies", is a genus of the poppy family Papaveraceae consisting of two species found in the dry parts of western North America...

    – Pygmy poppy
  • Stylomecon
    Stylomecon
    Stylomecon is a genus of annual plant in the family Papaveraceae. It has only one species, Stylomecon heterophylla, the Wind Poppy, which is native to California and north western Mexico....

    – Wind poppy
  • Arctomecon
    Arctomecon
    Arctomecon is a genus of the poppy family Papaveraceae commonly called the bear poppies or bear-paw poppies, after the distinctive appearance of the leaves...

    – Desert bearpaw poppy
  • Hunnemannia – Tulip poppy
  • Dendromecon
    Dendromecon
    Dendromecon, the tree poppy, is a genus of one or two species of shrubs to small trees, native to California and northern Baja California. The leaves are evergreen, alternate, lanceolate to ovate, 3-10 cm long...

    – Tree poppy

Uses

Most species of poppies are attractive and are cultivated as ornamental plant
Ornamental plant
Ornamental plants are plants that are grown for decorative purposes in gardens and landscape design projects, as house plants, for cut flowers and specimen display...

s. A few species have other uses, principally as sources of drugs and foods. The opium poppy
Opium poppy
Opium poppy, Papaver somniferum, is the species of plant from which opium and poppy seeds are extracted. Opium is the source of many opiates, including morphine , thebaine, codeine, papaverine, and noscapine...

 (Papaver somniferum) is so widely used, for both drugs and food, that its worldwide production is monitored by international agencies. It yields opium
Opium
Opium is the dried latex obtained from the opium poppy . Opium contains up to 12% morphine, an alkaloid, which is frequently processed chemically to produce heroin for the illegal drug trade. The latex also includes codeine and non-narcotic alkaloids such as papaverine, thebaine and noscapine...

 and opiate
Opiate
In medicine, the term opiate describes any of the narcotic opioid alkaloids found as natural products in the opium poppy plant.-Overview:Opiates are so named because they are constituents or derivatives of constituents found in opium, which is processed from the latex sap of the opium poppy,...

s, poppy seed
Poppy seed
Poppy seed is an oilseed obtained from the opium poppy . The tiny kidney-shaped seeds have been harvested from dried seed pods by various civilizations for thousands of years...

s for use in cooking and baking, and poppyseed oil
Poppyseed oil
Poppyseed oil is an edible oil from poppy seeds . The oil has culinary and pharmaceutical uses, as well as long established uses in the making of paints, varnishes, and soaps.Poppy seeds yield 45–50% oil...

 for culinary and other uses, and is also cultivated as an ornamental plant.

Symbolism

Poppies have long been used as a symbol of both sleep, peace and death: sleep because of the opium extracted from them, and death because of the common blood-red color of the red poppy in particular. In Greek and Roman myths, poppies were used as offerings to the dead. Poppies used as emblems on tombstones
Headstone
A headstone, tombstone, or gravestone is a marker, usually stone, that is placed over a grave. In most cases they have the deceased's name, date of birth, and date of death inscribed on them, along with a personal message, or prayer.- Use :...

 symbolize eternal sleep. This symbolism was evoked in the children's novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a children's novel written by L. Frank Baum and illustrated by W. W. Denslow. Originally published by the George M. Hill Company in Chicago on May 17, 1900, it has since been reprinted numerous times, most often under the name The Wizard of Oz, which is the name of...

, in which a magical poppy field threatened to make the protagonists sleep forever.

A second interpretation of poppies in Classical mythology is that the bright scarlet colour signifies a promise of resurrection after death.

The poppy of wartime remembrance is Papaver rhoeas, the red-flowered corn poppy. This poppy is a common weed
Weed
A weed in a general sense is a plant that is considered by the user of the term to be a nuisance, and normally applied to unwanted plants in human-controlled settings, especially farm fields and gardens, but also lawns, parks, woods, and other areas. More specifically, the term is often used to...

 in Europe and is found in many locations, including Flanders
Flanders
Flanders is the community of the Flemings but also one of the institutions in Belgium, and a geographical region located in parts of present-day Belgium, France and the Netherlands. "Flanders" can also refer to the northern part of Belgium that contains Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp...

, the setting of the famous poem "In Flanders Fields
In Flanders Fields
"In Flanders Fields" is one of the most notable poems written during World War I, created in the form of a French rondeau. It has been called "the most popular poem" produced during that period...

," by the Canadian surgeon and soldier John McCrae
John McCrae
Lieutenant Colonel John Alexander McCrae was a Canadian poet, physician, author, artist and soldier during World War I and a surgeon during the Second Battle of Ypres...

. In Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, artificial poppies (plastic in Canada, paper in the UK, Australia and New Zealand) are worn to commemorate those who died in war. This form of commemoration is associated with Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. This day, or alternative dates, are also recognized as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth...

, which falls on November 11. In Canada, Australia and the UK, poppies are often worn from the beginning of November through to the 11th, or Remembrance Sunday if that falls on a later date (November 13th in 2011). In New Zealand and Australia, soldiers are commemorated on ANZAC day (April 25), although the poppy is still commonly worn around Remembrance Day. Wearing of poppies was once a custom in the United States as well, and attempts have been made to revive the tradition in the US in connection with Memorial Day
Memorial Day
Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War...

 (end of May).

Medical uses

Ancient Egyptians doctors would have their patients eat seeds from a poppy to relieve pain. Modern science tells us why this worked: poppy seeds contain both morphine
Morphine
Morphine is a potent opiate analgesic medication and is considered to be the prototypical opioid. It was first isolated in 1804 by Friedrich Sertürner, first distributed by same in 1817, and first commercially sold by Merck in 1827, which at the time was a single small chemists' shop. It was more...

 and codeine
Codeine
Codeine or 3-methylmorphine is an opiate used for its analgesic, antitussive, and antidiarrheal properties...

, excellent pain-relieving drugs that are still used today.

Other uses

The California poppy
California poppy
The California poppy is a perennial and annual plant, native to the United States, and the official state flower of California.- Description :...

, Eschscholzia californica, is the state flower of California.

In Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, Grupo Modelo
Grupo Modelo
Grupo Modelo is a large brewery in Mexico, It has 63% of the Mexican beer market, and exports beer to the United Kingdom, United States and Canada . Its export brands include Corona, Modelo, and Pacífico...

, the makers of Corona
Corona (beer)
Corona Extra, better known as Corona and labeled as Coronita in Spain, is a brand of pale lager owned and produced by Cerveceria Modelo at a number of breweries in Mexico. It is one of the best-selling beers in Mexico and is one of the top-selling beers worldwide...

 beer, used red poppy flowers in most of its advertising images until the 1960s.

A poppy flower is depicted on the reverse
Obverse and reverse
Obverse and its opposite, reverse, refer to the two flat faces of coins and some other two-sided objects, including paper money, flags , seals, medals, drawings, old master prints and other works of art, and printed fabrics. In this usage, obverse means the front face of the object and reverse...

 of the Macedonian
Republic of Macedonia
Macedonia , officially the Republic of Macedonia , is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991...

 500 denars
Macedonian denar
The denar is the currency of the Republic of Macedonia. It is subdivided into 100 deni . The name denar comes from the name of the ancient Roman monetary unit, the denarius...

 banknote, issued in 1996 and 2003.

The powerful symbolism of Papaver rhoeas has been borrowed by various advocacy campaigns, such as the White Poppy
White Poppy
thumb|right|300px|Artificial poppies placed as [[Anzac Day]] tributes on a [[cenotaph]] in [[New Zealand]]; mostly [[red poppy#Symbol|red poppies]] marketed by the [[Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association]], with a lone [[White Poppy]]...

 and Simon Topping
Simon Topping
Simon Topping is a Methodist minister and faith leader based in Hucclecote in Gloucester, England, known for his campaign work in favour of ending world poverty.-Background:...

's black poppy.

The girl's given name Poppy is taken from the flower.

Poppies (Amapolas in Spanish) are commonly featured as the central flower in Puerto Rican weddings.

Artificial poppies (called "Buddy Poppies") are used in the veterans' aid campaign by the Veterans of Foreign Wars
Veterans of Foreign Wars
The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is a congressionally chartered war veterans organization in the United States. Headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, VFW currently has 1.5 million members belonging to 7,644 posts, and is the largest American organization of combat...

, which provides money to the veterans who assemble the poppies and various aid programs to veterans and their families.

Canada issued special quarters (25-cent coins) with a red poppy on the reverse in 2004, 2008 and 2010. The 2004 Canadian "poppy" quarter was the world's first coloured circulation coin.

Gallery

A poppy is one of a group of a flowering plant
Flowering plant
The flowering plants , also known as Angiospermae or Magnoliophyta, are the most diverse group of land plants. Angiosperms are seed-producing plants like the gymnosperms and can be distinguished from the gymnosperms by a series of synapomorphies...

s in the poppy family
Papaveraceae
Papaveraceae, informally known as the poppy family, are an economically important family of 44 genera and approximately 770 species of flowering plants in the order Ranunculales. The family is cosmopolitan, occurring in temperate and subtropical climates, but almost unknown in the tropics...

, many of which are grown in gardens for their colorful flowers. Poppies are sometimes used for symbolic reasons, such as in remembrance
Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. This day, or alternative dates, are also recognized as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth...

 of soldiers who have died during wartime.

Poppy flowers have 4 to 6 petals. The petals may be almost any color, and some have markings. Before blooming, the petals are crumpled in the bud
Bud
In botany, a bud is an undeveloped or embryonic shoot and normally occurs in the axil of a leaf or at the tip of the stem. Once formed, a bud may remain for some time in a dormant condition, or it may form a shoot immediately. Buds may be specialized to develop flowers or short shoots, or may have...

, and as blooming finishes, the petals often lie flat before falling away. A whorl of stamen
Stamen
The stamen is the pollen producing reproductive organ of a flower...

s is in the center of the flower.

The pollen
Pollen
Pollen is a fine to coarse powder containing the microgametophytes of seed plants, which produce the male gametes . Pollen grains have a hard coat that protects the sperm cells during the process of their movement from the stamens to the pistil of flowering plants or from the male cone to the...

 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. Bee
Bee
Bees are flying insects closely related to wasps and ants, and are known for their role in pollination and for producing honey and beeswax. Bees are a monophyletic lineage within the superfamily Apoidea, presently classified by the unranked taxon name Anthophila...

s use poppies as a pollen source
Pollen source
The term pollen source is often used in the context of beekeeping and refers to flowering plants as a source of pollen for bees or other insects. Bees collect pollen as a protein source to raise their brood. For the plant, the pollinizer, this can be an important mechanism for sexual reproduction,...

.

Poppies belong to genera
Genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 of Papaveraceae
Papaveraceae
Papaveraceae, informally known as the poppy family, are an economically important family of 44 genera and approximately 770 species of flowering plants in the order Ranunculales. The family is cosmopolitan, occurring in temperate and subtropical climates, but almost unknown in the tropics...

, which includes:
  • Papaver
    Papaver
    Papaver is a genus of 70-100 species of frost-tolerant annuals, biennials, and perennials native to temperate and cold regions of Eurasia, Africa and North America. It is the type genus of the poppy family, Papaveraceae.-Description:...

    – corn poppy, Opium poppy
    Opium poppy
    Opium poppy, Papaver somniferum, is the species of plant from which opium and poppy seeds are extracted. Opium is the source of many opiates, including morphine , thebaine, codeine, papaverine, and noscapine...

    , Oriental poppy, Iceland poppy, and about 120 other species
  • Eschscholzia
    Eschscholzia
    Eschscholzia is a genus of 12 annual or perennial plants in the Papaveraceae family. The genus was named after the Baltic German botanist Johann Friedrich von Eschscholtz .-Description:...

    California poppy
    California poppy
    The California poppy is a perennial and annual plant, native to the United States, and the official state flower of California.- Description :...

     and relatives
  • Meconopsis
    Meconopsis
    Meconopsis is a genus of flowering plants in the family Papaveraceae. The species have attractive flowers and have two distinct ranges. A single species, Meconopsis cambrica , is indigenous to England, Wales, Ireland, and the fringes of Western Europe. The other 40 or so species are found in the...

    Welsh poppy
    Welsh poppy
    The Welsh poppy is a perennial plant of the family Papaveraceae. Its habitat is damp, shady places on rocky ground, and it is native to south-western England, Wales, Ireland and Western Europe. In its most western locations, it is increasingly found on more open ground with less cover.It has...

    , Nepal poppy
    Nepal poppy
    The Nepal poppy is a plant of the family Papaveraceae. The plant contains beta-carbolines, which act as a psychedelic drug. However, its phytochemistry remains predominatly unstudied....

    , and relatives
  • Stylophorum
    Stylophorum
    Stylophorum is a genus of three species of herbaceous perennial plants native to woodland in eastern North America and China.Stems are bristly, and leaves are lobed and have wavy edges....

    – Celandine poppy or wood poppy
  • Argemone
    Argemone
    Argemone is a genus of flowering plants in the family Papaveraceae. It contains 30 to 32 species, commonly known as prickly poppies, that are native to the Americas and Hawaii...

    – Prickly poppy
  • Anemone coronaria
    Anemone coronaria
    Anemone coronaria is a species of flowering plant in the genus Anemone, native to the Mediterranean region.-Description:...

    - Poppy anemone, Spanish marigold
  • Romneya – Matilija poppy and relatives
  • Canbya
    Canbya
    Canbya, also known as the "pygmy poppies", is a genus of the poppy family Papaveraceae consisting of two species found in the dry parts of western North America...

    – Pygmy poppy
  • Stylomecon
    Stylomecon
    Stylomecon is a genus of annual plant in the family Papaveraceae. It has only one species, Stylomecon heterophylla, the Wind Poppy, which is native to California and north western Mexico....

    – Wind poppy
  • Arctomecon
    Arctomecon
    Arctomecon is a genus of the poppy family Papaveraceae commonly called the bear poppies or bear-paw poppies, after the distinctive appearance of the leaves...

    – Desert bearpaw poppy
  • Hunnemannia – Tulip poppy
  • Dendromecon
    Dendromecon
    Dendromecon, the tree poppy, is a genus of one or two species of shrubs to small trees, native to California and northern Baja California. The leaves are evergreen, alternate, lanceolate to ovate, 3-10 cm long...

    – Tree poppy

Uses

Most species of poppies are attractive and are cultivated as ornamental plant
Ornamental plant
Ornamental plants are plants that are grown for decorative purposes in gardens and landscape design projects, as house plants, for cut flowers and specimen display...

s. A few species have other uses, principally as sources of drugs and foods. The opium poppy
Opium poppy
Opium poppy, Papaver somniferum, is the species of plant from which opium and poppy seeds are extracted. Opium is the source of many opiates, including morphine , thebaine, codeine, papaverine, and noscapine...

 (Papaver somniferum) is so widely used, for both drugs and food, that its worldwide production is monitored by international agencies. It yields opium
Opium
Opium is the dried latex obtained from the opium poppy . Opium contains up to 12% morphine, an alkaloid, which is frequently processed chemically to produce heroin for the illegal drug trade. The latex also includes codeine and non-narcotic alkaloids such as papaverine, thebaine and noscapine...

 and opiate
Opiate
In medicine, the term opiate describes any of the narcotic opioid alkaloids found as natural products in the opium poppy plant.-Overview:Opiates are so named because they are constituents or derivatives of constituents found in opium, which is processed from the latex sap of the opium poppy,...

s, poppy seed
Poppy seed
Poppy seed is an oilseed obtained from the opium poppy . The tiny kidney-shaped seeds have been harvested from dried seed pods by various civilizations for thousands of years...

s for use in cooking and baking, and poppyseed oil
Poppyseed oil
Poppyseed oil is an edible oil from poppy seeds . The oil has culinary and pharmaceutical uses, as well as long established uses in the making of paints, varnishes, and soaps.Poppy seeds yield 45–50% oil...

 for culinary and other uses, and is also cultivated as an ornamental plant.

Symbolism

Poppies have long been used as a symbol of both sleep, peace and death: sleep because of the opium extracted from them, and death because of the common blood-red color of the red poppy in particular. In Greek and Roman myths, poppies were used as offerings to the dead. Poppies used as emblems on tombstones
Headstone
A headstone, tombstone, or gravestone is a marker, usually stone, that is placed over a grave. In most cases they have the deceased's name, date of birth, and date of death inscribed on them, along with a personal message, or prayer.- Use :...

 symbolize eternal sleep. This symbolism was evoked in the children's novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a children's novel written by L. Frank Baum and illustrated by W. W. Denslow. Originally published by the George M. Hill Company in Chicago on May 17, 1900, it has since been reprinted numerous times, most often under the name The Wizard of Oz, which is the name of...

, in which a magical poppy field threatened to make the protagonists sleep forever.

A second interpretation of poppies in Classical mythology is that the bright scarlet colour signifies a promise of resurrection after death.

The poppy of wartime remembrance is Papaver rhoeas, the red-flowered corn poppy. This poppy is a common weed
Weed
A weed in a general sense is a plant that is considered by the user of the term to be a nuisance, and normally applied to unwanted plants in human-controlled settings, especially farm fields and gardens, but also lawns, parks, woods, and other areas. More specifically, the term is often used to...

 in Europe and is found in many locations, including Flanders
Flanders
Flanders is the community of the Flemings but also one of the institutions in Belgium, and a geographical region located in parts of present-day Belgium, France and the Netherlands. "Flanders" can also refer to the northern part of Belgium that contains Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp...

, the setting of the famous poem "In Flanders Fields
In Flanders Fields
"In Flanders Fields" is one of the most notable poems written during World War I, created in the form of a French rondeau. It has been called "the most popular poem" produced during that period...

," by the Canadian surgeon and soldier John McCrae
John McCrae
Lieutenant Colonel John Alexander McCrae was a Canadian poet, physician, author, artist and soldier during World War I and a surgeon during the Second Battle of Ypres...

. In Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, artificial poppies (plastic in Canada, paper in the UK, Australia and New Zealand) are worn to commemorate those who died in war. This form of commemoration is associated with Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. This day, or alternative dates, are also recognized as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth...

, which falls on November 11. In Canada, Australia and the UK, poppies are often worn from the beginning of November through to the 11th, or Remembrance Sunday if that falls on a later date (November 13th in 2011). In New Zealand and Australia, soldiers are commemorated on ANZAC day (April 25), although the poppy is still commonly worn around Remembrance Day. Wearing of poppies was once a custom in the United States as well, and attempts have been made to revive the tradition in the US in connection with Memorial Day
Memorial Day
Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War...

 (end of May).

Medical uses

Ancient Egyptians doctors would have their patients eat seeds from a poppy to relieve pain. Modern science tells us why this worked: poppy seeds contain both morphine
Morphine
Morphine is a potent opiate analgesic medication and is considered to be the prototypical opioid. It was first isolated in 1804 by Friedrich Sertürner, first distributed by same in 1817, and first commercially sold by Merck in 1827, which at the time was a single small chemists' shop. It was more...

 and codeine
Codeine
Codeine or 3-methylmorphine is an opiate used for its analgesic, antitussive, and antidiarrheal properties...

, excellent pain-relieving drugs that are still used today.

Other uses

The California poppy
California poppy
The California poppy is a perennial and annual plant, native to the United States, and the official state flower of California.- Description :...

, Eschscholzia californica, is the state flower of California.

In Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, Grupo Modelo
Grupo Modelo
Grupo Modelo is a large brewery in Mexico, It has 63% of the Mexican beer market, and exports beer to the United Kingdom, United States and Canada . Its export brands include Corona, Modelo, and Pacífico...

, the makers of Corona
Corona (beer)
Corona Extra, better known as Corona and labeled as Coronita in Spain, is a brand of pale lager owned and produced by Cerveceria Modelo at a number of breweries in Mexico. It is one of the best-selling beers in Mexico and is one of the top-selling beers worldwide...

 beer, used red poppy flowers in most of its advertising images until the 1960s.

A poppy flower is depicted on the reverse
Obverse and reverse
Obverse and its opposite, reverse, refer to the two flat faces of coins and some other two-sided objects, including paper money, flags , seals, medals, drawings, old master prints and other works of art, and printed fabrics. In this usage, obverse means the front face of the object and reverse...

 of the Macedonian
Republic of Macedonia
Macedonia , officially the Republic of Macedonia , is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991...

 500 denars
Macedonian denar
The denar is the currency of the Republic of Macedonia. It is subdivided into 100 deni . The name denar comes from the name of the ancient Roman monetary unit, the denarius...

 banknote, issued in 1996 and 2003.

The powerful symbolism of Papaver rhoeas has been borrowed by various advocacy campaigns, such as the White Poppy
White Poppy
thumb|right|300px|Artificial poppies placed as [[Anzac Day]] tributes on a [[cenotaph]] in [[New Zealand]]; mostly [[red poppy#Symbol|red poppies]] marketed by the [[Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association]], with a lone [[White Poppy]]...

 and Simon Topping
Simon Topping
Simon Topping is a Methodist minister and faith leader based in Hucclecote in Gloucester, England, known for his campaign work in favour of ending world poverty.-Background:...

's black poppy.

The girl's given name Poppy is taken from the flower.

Poppies (Amapolas in Spanish) are commonly featured as the central flower in Puerto Rican weddings.

Artificial poppies (called "Buddy Poppies") are used in the veterans' aid campaign by the Veterans of Foreign Wars
Veterans of Foreign Wars
The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is a congressionally chartered war veterans organization in the United States. Headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, VFW currently has 1.5 million members belonging to 7,644 posts, and is the largest American organization of combat...

, which provides money to the veterans who assemble the poppies and various aid programs to veterans and their families.

Canada issued special quarters (25-cent coins) with a red poppy on the reverse in 2004, 2008 and 2010. The 2004 Canadian "poppy" quarter was the world's first coloured circulation coin.

Gallery


Image:Poppy-purple.png|Opium poppy (Papaver somniferum)
Image:Crowning P Somniferum topview.jpg|Opium poppy
Opium poppy
Opium poppy, Papaver somniferum, is the species of plant from which opium and poppy seeds are extracted. Opium is the source of many opiates, including morphine , thebaine, codeine, papaverine, and noscapine...

 seed capsule
Capsule (fruit)
In botany a capsule is a type of simple, dry fruit produced by many species of flowering plants. A capsule is a structure composed of two or more carpels that in most cases is dehiscent, i.e. at maturity, it splits apart to release the seeds within. A few capsules are indehiscent, for example...


Image:Poppy seeds.jpg|Opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) seeds
File:California poppies 1.jpg|California Poppy
California poppy
The California poppy is a perennial and annual plant, native to the United States, and the official state flower of California.- Description :...


Image:Oldpoppies.jpg|Field of poppies, by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii
Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii
Sergey Mikhaylovich Prokudin-Gorsky was a Russian chemist and photographer. He is best known for his pioneering work in color photography of early 20th-century Russia.. Library of Congress. Retrieved 13 August 2006.-Early life:...

, ca. 1912
Image:Poppy2004.JPG|Poppies near Kelling
Kelling
Kelling is a village and a civil parish in the English county of Norfolk. The village is west of Cromer, north of Norwich and north-east of London. The village straddles the A149 Coast road between Kings Lynn and Great Yarmouth...

, North Norfolk
North Norfolk
North Norfolk is a local government district in Norfolk, United Kingdom. Its council is based in Cromer. The council headquarters can be found approximately out of the town of Cromer on the Holt Road.-History:...

, UK, June 2002
Image:BluePoppy.jpg|Himalayan blue poppy near Gumburanjon in Zanskar
Zanskar
Zanskar is a subdistrict or tehsil of the Kargil district, which lies in the eastern half of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The administrative centre is Padum...

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, July 2008
Image:Poppy-seeds.jpg|White poppy seeds. There are about 140,000 poppy seeds to the ounce.
A poppy is one of a group of a flowering plant
Flowering plant
The flowering plants , also known as Angiospermae or Magnoliophyta, are the most diverse group of land plants. Angiosperms are seed-producing plants like the gymnosperms and can be distinguished from the gymnosperms by a series of synapomorphies...

s in the poppy family
Papaveraceae
Papaveraceae, informally known as the poppy family, are an economically important family of 44 genera and approximately 770 species of flowering plants in the order Ranunculales. The family is cosmopolitan, occurring in temperate and subtropical climates, but almost unknown in the tropics...

, many of which are grown in gardens for their colorful flowers. Poppies are sometimes used for symbolic reasons, such as in remembrance
Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. This day, or alternative dates, are also recognized as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth...

 of soldiers who have died during wartime.

Poppy flowers have 4 to 6 petals. The petals may be almost any color, and some have markings. Before blooming, the petals are crumpled in the bud
Bud
In botany, a bud is an undeveloped or embryonic shoot and normally occurs in the axil of a leaf or at the tip of the stem. Once formed, a bud may remain for some time in a dormant condition, or it may form a shoot immediately. Buds may be specialized to develop flowers or short shoots, or may have...

, and as blooming finishes, the petals often lie flat before falling away. A whorl of stamen
Stamen
The stamen is the pollen producing reproductive organ of a flower...

s is in the center of the flower.

The pollen
Pollen
Pollen is a fine to coarse powder containing the microgametophytes of seed plants, which produce the male gametes . Pollen grains have a hard coat that protects the sperm cells during the process of their movement from the stamens to the pistil of flowering plants or from the male cone to the...

 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. Bee
Bee
Bees are flying insects closely related to wasps and ants, and are known for their role in pollination and for producing honey and beeswax. Bees are a monophyletic lineage within the superfamily Apoidea, presently classified by the unranked taxon name Anthophila...

s use poppies as a pollen source
Pollen source
The term pollen source is often used in the context of beekeeping and refers to flowering plants as a source of pollen for bees or other insects. Bees collect pollen as a protein source to raise their brood. For the plant, the pollinizer, this can be an important mechanism for sexual reproduction,...

.

Poppies belong to genera
Genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 of Papaveraceae
Papaveraceae
Papaveraceae, informally known as the poppy family, are an economically important family of 44 genera and approximately 770 species of flowering plants in the order Ranunculales. The family is cosmopolitan, occurring in temperate and subtropical climates, but almost unknown in the tropics...

, which includes:
  • Papaver
    Papaver
    Papaver is a genus of 70-100 species of frost-tolerant annuals, biennials, and perennials native to temperate and cold regions of Eurasia, Africa and North America. It is the type genus of the poppy family, Papaveraceae.-Description:...

    – corn poppy, Opium poppy
    Opium poppy
    Opium poppy, Papaver somniferum, is the species of plant from which opium and poppy seeds are extracted. Opium is the source of many opiates, including morphine , thebaine, codeine, papaverine, and noscapine...

    , Oriental poppy, Iceland poppy, and about 120 other species
  • Eschscholzia
    Eschscholzia
    Eschscholzia is a genus of 12 annual or perennial plants in the Papaveraceae family. The genus was named after the Baltic German botanist Johann Friedrich von Eschscholtz .-Description:...

    California poppy
    California poppy
    The California poppy is a perennial and annual plant, native to the United States, and the official state flower of California.- Description :...

     and relatives
  • Meconopsis
    Meconopsis
    Meconopsis is a genus of flowering plants in the family Papaveraceae. The species have attractive flowers and have two distinct ranges. A single species, Meconopsis cambrica , is indigenous to England, Wales, Ireland, and the fringes of Western Europe. The other 40 or so species are found in the...

    Welsh poppy
    Welsh poppy
    The Welsh poppy is a perennial plant of the family Papaveraceae. Its habitat is damp, shady places on rocky ground, and it is native to south-western England, Wales, Ireland and Western Europe. In its most western locations, it is increasingly found on more open ground with less cover.It has...

    , Nepal poppy
    Nepal poppy
    The Nepal poppy is a plant of the family Papaveraceae. The plant contains beta-carbolines, which act as a psychedelic drug. However, its phytochemistry remains predominatly unstudied....

    , and relatives
  • Stylophorum
    Stylophorum
    Stylophorum is a genus of three species of herbaceous perennial plants native to woodland in eastern North America and China.Stems are bristly, and leaves are lobed and have wavy edges....

    – Celandine poppy or wood poppy
  • Argemone
    Argemone
    Argemone is a genus of flowering plants in the family Papaveraceae. It contains 30 to 32 species, commonly known as prickly poppies, that are native to the Americas and Hawaii...

    – Prickly poppy
  • Anemone coronaria
    Anemone coronaria
    Anemone coronaria is a species of flowering plant in the genus Anemone, native to the Mediterranean region.-Description:...

    - Poppy anemone, Spanish marigold
  • Romneya – Matilija poppy and relatives
  • Canbya
    Canbya
    Canbya, also known as the "pygmy poppies", is a genus of the poppy family Papaveraceae consisting of two species found in the dry parts of western North America...

    – Pygmy poppy
  • Stylomecon
    Stylomecon
    Stylomecon is a genus of annual plant in the family Papaveraceae. It has only one species, Stylomecon heterophylla, the Wind Poppy, which is native to California and north western Mexico....

    – Wind poppy
  • Arctomecon
    Arctomecon
    Arctomecon is a genus of the poppy family Papaveraceae commonly called the bear poppies or bear-paw poppies, after the distinctive appearance of the leaves...

    – Desert bearpaw poppy
  • Hunnemannia – Tulip poppy
  • Dendromecon
    Dendromecon
    Dendromecon, the tree poppy, is a genus of one or two species of shrubs to small trees, native to California and northern Baja California. The leaves are evergreen, alternate, lanceolate to ovate, 3-10 cm long...

    – Tree poppy

Uses

Most species of poppies are attractive and are cultivated as ornamental plant
Ornamental plant
Ornamental plants are plants that are grown for decorative purposes in gardens and landscape design projects, as house plants, for cut flowers and specimen display...

s. A few species have other uses, principally as sources of drugs and foods. The opium poppy
Opium poppy
Opium poppy, Papaver somniferum, is the species of plant from which opium and poppy seeds are extracted. Opium is the source of many opiates, including morphine , thebaine, codeine, papaverine, and noscapine...

 (Papaver somniferum) is so widely used, for both drugs and food, that its worldwide production is monitored by international agencies. It yields opium
Opium
Opium is the dried latex obtained from the opium poppy . Opium contains up to 12% morphine, an alkaloid, which is frequently processed chemically to produce heroin for the illegal drug trade. The latex also includes codeine and non-narcotic alkaloids such as papaverine, thebaine and noscapine...

 and opiate
Opiate
In medicine, the term opiate describes any of the narcotic opioid alkaloids found as natural products in the opium poppy plant.-Overview:Opiates are so named because they are constituents or derivatives of constituents found in opium, which is processed from the latex sap of the opium poppy,...

s, poppy seed
Poppy seed
Poppy seed is an oilseed obtained from the opium poppy . The tiny kidney-shaped seeds have been harvested from dried seed pods by various civilizations for thousands of years...

s for use in cooking and baking, and poppyseed oil
Poppyseed oil
Poppyseed oil is an edible oil from poppy seeds . The oil has culinary and pharmaceutical uses, as well as long established uses in the making of paints, varnishes, and soaps.Poppy seeds yield 45–50% oil...

 for culinary and other uses, and is also cultivated as an ornamental plant.

Symbolism

Poppies have long been used as a symbol of both sleep, peace and death: sleep because of the opium extracted from them, and death because of the common blood-red color of the red poppy in particular. In Greek and Roman myths, poppies were used as offerings to the dead. Poppies used as emblems on tombstones
Headstone
A headstone, tombstone, or gravestone is a marker, usually stone, that is placed over a grave. In most cases they have the deceased's name, date of birth, and date of death inscribed on them, along with a personal message, or prayer.- Use :...

 symbolize eternal sleep. This symbolism was evoked in the children's novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a children's novel written by L. Frank Baum and illustrated by W. W. Denslow. Originally published by the George M. Hill Company in Chicago on May 17, 1900, it has since been reprinted numerous times, most often under the name The Wizard of Oz, which is the name of...

, in which a magical poppy field threatened to make the protagonists sleep forever.

A second interpretation of poppies in Classical mythology is that the bright scarlet colour signifies a promise of resurrection after death.Robert Graves
Robert Graves
Robert von Ranke Graves 24 July 1895 – 7 December 1985 was an English poet, translator and novelist. During his long life he produced more than 140 works...

, The Greek Myths, 24. 15 p. 96, ISBN 0-14-001026-2


The poppy of wartime remembrance is Papaver rhoeas, the red-flowered corn poppy. This poppy is a common weed
Weed
A weed in a general sense is a plant that is considered by the user of the term to be a nuisance, and normally applied to unwanted plants in human-controlled settings, especially farm fields and gardens, but also lawns, parks, woods, and other areas. More specifically, the term is often used to...

 in Europe and is found in many locations, including Flanders
Flanders
Flanders is the community of the Flemings but also one of the institutions in Belgium, and a geographical region located in parts of present-day Belgium, France and the Netherlands. "Flanders" can also refer to the northern part of Belgium that contains Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp...

, the setting of the famous poem "In Flanders Fields
In Flanders Fields
"In Flanders Fields" is one of the most notable poems written during World War I, created in the form of a French rondeau. It has been called "the most popular poem" produced during that period...

," by the Canadian surgeon and soldier John McCrae
John McCrae
Lieutenant Colonel John Alexander McCrae was a Canadian poet, physician, author, artist and soldier during World War I and a surgeon during the Second Battle of Ypres...

. In Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, artificial poppies (plastic in Canada, paper in the UK, Australia and New Zealand) are worn to commemorate those who died in war. This form of commemoration is associated with Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. This day, or alternative dates, are also recognized as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth...

, which falls on November 11. In Canada, Australia and the UK, poppies are often worn from the beginning of November through to the 11th, or Remembrance Sunday if that falls on a later date (November 13th in 2011). In New Zealand and Australia, soldiers are commemorated on ANZAC day (April 25), although the poppy is still commonly worn around Remembrance Day. Wearing of poppies was once a custom in the United States as well, and attempts have been made to revive the tradition in the US in connection with Memorial Day
Memorial Day
Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War...

 (end of May).

Medical uses

Ancient Egyptians doctors would have their patients eat seeds from a poppy to relieve pain. Modern science tells us why this worked: poppy seeds contain both morphine
Morphine
Morphine is a potent opiate analgesic medication and is considered to be the prototypical opioid. It was first isolated in 1804 by Friedrich Sertürner, first distributed by same in 1817, and first commercially sold by Merck in 1827, which at the time was a single small chemists' shop. It was more...

 and codeine
Codeine
Codeine or 3-methylmorphine is an opiate used for its analgesic, antitussive, and antidiarrheal properties...

, excellent pain-relieving drugs that are still used today.

Other uses

The California poppy
California poppy
The California poppy is a perennial and annual plant, native to the United States, and the official state flower of California.- Description :...

, Eschscholzia californica, is the state flower of California.

In Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, Grupo Modelo
Grupo Modelo
Grupo Modelo is a large brewery in Mexico, It has 63% of the Mexican beer market, and exports beer to the United Kingdom, United States and Canada . Its export brands include Corona, Modelo, and Pacífico...

, the makers of Corona
Corona (beer)
Corona Extra, better known as Corona and labeled as Coronita in Spain, is a brand of pale lager owned and produced by Cerveceria Modelo at a number of breweries in Mexico. It is one of the best-selling beers in Mexico and is one of the top-selling beers worldwide...

 beer, used red poppy flowers in most of its advertising images until the 1960s.

A poppy flower is depicted on the reverse
Obverse and reverse
Obverse and its opposite, reverse, refer to the two flat faces of coins and some other two-sided objects, including paper money, flags , seals, medals, drawings, old master prints and other works of art, and printed fabrics. In this usage, obverse means the front face of the object and reverse...

 of the Macedonian
Republic of Macedonia
Macedonia , officially the Republic of Macedonia , is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991...

 500 denars
Macedonian denar
The denar is the currency of the Republic of Macedonia. It is subdivided into 100 deni . The name denar comes from the name of the ancient Roman monetary unit, the denarius...

 banknote, issued in 1996 and 2003.National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia. Macedonian currency. Banknotes in circulation: 500 Denars (1996 issue) & 500 Denars (2003 issue). – access date 30 March 2009

The powerful symbolism of Papaver rhoeas has been borrowed by various advocacy campaigns, such as the White Poppy
White Poppy
thumb|right|300px|Artificial poppies placed as [[Anzac Day]] tributes on a [[cenotaph]] in [[New Zealand]]; mostly [[red poppy#Symbol|red poppies]] marketed by the [[Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association]], with a lone [[White Poppy]]...

 and Simon Topping
Simon Topping
Simon Topping is a Methodist minister and faith leader based in Hucclecote in Gloucester, England, known for his campaign work in favour of ending world poverty.-Background:...

's black poppy.

The girl's given name Poppy is taken from the flower.

Poppies (Amapolas in Spanish) are commonly featured as the central flower in Puerto Rican weddings.

Artificial poppies (called "Buddy Poppies") are used in the veterans' aid campaign by the Veterans of Foreign Wars
Veterans of Foreign Wars
The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is a congressionally chartered war veterans organization in the United States. Headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, VFW currently has 1.5 million members belonging to 7,644 posts, and is the largest American organization of combat...

, which provides money to the veterans who assemble the poppies and various aid programs to veterans and their families.

Canada issued special quarters (25-cent coins) with a red poppy on the reverse in 2004, 2008 and 2010. The 2004 Canadian "poppy" quarter was the world's first coloured circulation coin.

Gallery


Image:Poppy-purple.png|Opium poppy (Papaver somniferum)
Image:Crowning P Somniferum topview.jpg|Opium poppy
Opium poppy
Opium poppy, Papaver somniferum, is the species of plant from which opium and poppy seeds are extracted. Opium is the source of many opiates, including morphine , thebaine, codeine, papaverine, and noscapine...

 seed capsule
Capsule (fruit)
In botany a capsule is a type of simple, dry fruit produced by many species of flowering plants. A capsule is a structure composed of two or more carpels that in most cases is dehiscent, i.e. at maturity, it splits apart to release the seeds within. A few capsules are indehiscent, for example...


Image:Poppy seeds.jpg|Opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) seeds
File:California poppies 1.jpg|California Poppy
California poppy
The California poppy is a perennial and annual plant, native to the United States, and the official state flower of California.- Description :...


Image:Oldpoppies.jpg|Field of poppies, by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii
Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii
Sergey Mikhaylovich Prokudin-Gorsky was a Russian chemist and photographer. He is best known for his pioneering work in color photography of early 20th-century Russia.. Library of Congress. Retrieved 13 August 2006.-Early life:...

, ca. 1912
Image:Poppy2004.JPG|Poppies near Kelling
Kelling
Kelling is a village and a civil parish in the English county of Norfolk. The village is west of Cromer, north of Norwich and north-east of London. The village straddles the A149 Coast road between Kings Lynn and Great Yarmouth...

, North Norfolk
North Norfolk
North Norfolk is a local government district in Norfolk, United Kingdom. Its council is based in Cromer. The council headquarters can be found approximately out of the town of Cromer on the Holt Road.-History:...

, UK, June 2002
Image:BluePoppy.jpg|Himalayan blue poppy near Gumburanjon in Zanskar
Zanskar
Zanskar is a subdistrict or tehsil of the Kargil district, which lies in the eastern half of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The administrative centre is Padum...

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, July 2008
Image:Poppy-seeds.jpg|White poppy seeds. There are about 140,000 poppy seeds to the ounce.
A poppy is one of a group of a flowering plant
Flowering plant
The flowering plants , also known as Angiospermae or Magnoliophyta, are the most diverse group of land plants. Angiosperms are seed-producing plants like the gymnosperms and can be distinguished from the gymnosperms by a series of synapomorphies...

s in the poppy family
Papaveraceae
Papaveraceae, informally known as the poppy family, are an economically important family of 44 genera and approximately 770 species of flowering plants in the order Ranunculales. The family is cosmopolitan, occurring in temperate and subtropical climates, but almost unknown in the tropics...

, many of which are grown in gardens for their colorful flowers. Poppies are sometimes used for symbolic reasons, such as in remembrance
Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. This day, or alternative dates, are also recognized as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth...

 of soldiers who have died during wartime.

Poppy flowers have 4 to 6 petals. The petals may be almost any color, and some have markings. Before blooming, the petals are crumpled in the bud
Bud
In botany, a bud is an undeveloped or embryonic shoot and normally occurs in the axil of a leaf or at the tip of the stem. Once formed, a bud may remain for some time in a dormant condition, or it may form a shoot immediately. Buds may be specialized to develop flowers or short shoots, or may have...

, and as blooming finishes, the petals often lie flat before falling away. A whorl of stamen
Stamen
The stamen is the pollen producing reproductive organ of a flower...

s is in the center of the flower.

The pollen
Pollen
Pollen is a fine to coarse powder containing the microgametophytes of seed plants, which produce the male gametes . Pollen grains have a hard coat that protects the sperm cells during the process of their movement from the stamens to the pistil of flowering plants or from the male cone to the...

 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. Bee
Bee
Bees are flying insects closely related to wasps and ants, and are known for their role in pollination and for producing honey and beeswax. Bees are a monophyletic lineage within the superfamily Apoidea, presently classified by the unranked taxon name Anthophila...

s use poppies as a pollen source
Pollen source
The term pollen source is often used in the context of beekeeping and refers to flowering plants as a source of pollen for bees or other insects. Bees collect pollen as a protein source to raise their brood. For the plant, the pollinizer, this can be an important mechanism for sexual reproduction,...

.

Poppies belong to genera
Genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 of Papaveraceae
Papaveraceae
Papaveraceae, informally known as the poppy family, are an economically important family of 44 genera and approximately 770 species of flowering plants in the order Ranunculales. The family is cosmopolitan, occurring in temperate and subtropical climates, but almost unknown in the tropics...

, which includes:
  • Papaver
    Papaver
    Papaver is a genus of 70-100 species of frost-tolerant annuals, biennials, and perennials native to temperate and cold regions of Eurasia, Africa and North America. It is the type genus of the poppy family, Papaveraceae.-Description:...

    – corn poppy, Opium poppy
    Opium poppy
    Opium poppy, Papaver somniferum, is the species of plant from which opium and poppy seeds are extracted. Opium is the source of many opiates, including morphine , thebaine, codeine, papaverine, and noscapine...

    , Oriental poppy, Iceland poppy, and about 120 other species
  • Eschscholzia
    Eschscholzia
    Eschscholzia is a genus of 12 annual or perennial plants in the Papaveraceae family. The genus was named after the Baltic German botanist Johann Friedrich von Eschscholtz .-Description:...

    California poppy
    California poppy
    The California poppy is a perennial and annual plant, native to the United States, and the official state flower of California.- Description :...

     and relatives
  • Meconopsis
    Meconopsis
    Meconopsis is a genus of flowering plants in the family Papaveraceae. The species have attractive flowers and have two distinct ranges. A single species, Meconopsis cambrica , is indigenous to England, Wales, Ireland, and the fringes of Western Europe. The other 40 or so species are found in the...

    Welsh poppy
    Welsh poppy
    The Welsh poppy is a perennial plant of the family Papaveraceae. Its habitat is damp, shady places on rocky ground, and it is native to south-western England, Wales, Ireland and Western Europe. In its most western locations, it is increasingly found on more open ground with less cover.It has...

    , Nepal poppy
    Nepal poppy
    The Nepal poppy is a plant of the family Papaveraceae. The plant contains beta-carbolines, which act as a psychedelic drug. However, its phytochemistry remains predominatly unstudied....

    , and relatives
  • Stylophorum
    Stylophorum
    Stylophorum is a genus of three species of herbaceous perennial plants native to woodland in eastern North America and China.Stems are bristly, and leaves are lobed and have wavy edges....

    – Celandine poppy or wood poppy
  • Argemone
    Argemone
    Argemone is a genus of flowering plants in the family Papaveraceae. It contains 30 to 32 species, commonly known as prickly poppies, that are native to the Americas and Hawaii...

    – Prickly poppy
  • Anemone coronaria
    Anemone coronaria
    Anemone coronaria is a species of flowering plant in the genus Anemone, native to the Mediterranean region.-Description:...

    - Poppy anemone, Spanish marigold
  • Romneya – Matilija poppy and relatives
  • Canbya
    Canbya
    Canbya, also known as the "pygmy poppies", is a genus of the poppy family Papaveraceae consisting of two species found in the dry parts of western North America...

    – Pygmy poppy
  • Stylomecon
    Stylomecon
    Stylomecon is a genus of annual plant in the family Papaveraceae. It has only one species, Stylomecon heterophylla, the Wind Poppy, which is native to California and north western Mexico....

    – Wind poppy
  • Arctomecon
    Arctomecon
    Arctomecon is a genus of the poppy family Papaveraceae commonly called the bear poppies or bear-paw poppies, after the distinctive appearance of the leaves...

    – Desert bearpaw poppy
  • Hunnemannia – Tulip poppy
  • Dendromecon
    Dendromecon
    Dendromecon, the tree poppy, is a genus of one or two species of shrubs to small trees, native to California and northern Baja California. The leaves are evergreen, alternate, lanceolate to ovate, 3-10 cm long...

    – Tree poppy

Uses

Most species of poppies are attractive and are cultivated as ornamental plant
Ornamental plant
Ornamental plants are plants that are grown for decorative purposes in gardens and landscape design projects, as house plants, for cut flowers and specimen display...

s. A few species have other uses, principally as sources of drugs and foods. The opium poppy
Opium poppy
Opium poppy, Papaver somniferum, is the species of plant from which opium and poppy seeds are extracted. Opium is the source of many opiates, including morphine , thebaine, codeine, papaverine, and noscapine...

 (Papaver somniferum) is so widely used, for both drugs and food, that its worldwide production is monitored by international agencies. It yields opium
Opium
Opium is the dried latex obtained from the opium poppy . Opium contains up to 12% morphine, an alkaloid, which is frequently processed chemically to produce heroin for the illegal drug trade. The latex also includes codeine and non-narcotic alkaloids such as papaverine, thebaine and noscapine...

 and opiate
Opiate
In medicine, the term opiate describes any of the narcotic opioid alkaloids found as natural products in the opium poppy plant.-Overview:Opiates are so named because they are constituents or derivatives of constituents found in opium, which is processed from the latex sap of the opium poppy,...

s, poppy seed
Poppy seed
Poppy seed is an oilseed obtained from the opium poppy . The tiny kidney-shaped seeds have been harvested from dried seed pods by various civilizations for thousands of years...

s for use in cooking and baking, and poppyseed oil
Poppyseed oil
Poppyseed oil is an edible oil from poppy seeds . The oil has culinary and pharmaceutical uses, as well as long established uses in the making of paints, varnishes, and soaps.Poppy seeds yield 45–50% oil...

 for culinary and other uses, and is also cultivated as an ornamental plant.

Symbolism

Poppies have long been used as a symbol of both sleep, peace and death: sleep because of the opium extracted from them, and death because of the common blood-red color of the red poppy in particular. In Greek and Roman myths, poppies were used as offerings to the dead. Poppies used as emblems on tombstones
Headstone
A headstone, tombstone, or gravestone is a marker, usually stone, that is placed over a grave. In most cases they have the deceased's name, date of birth, and date of death inscribed on them, along with a personal message, or prayer.- Use :...

 symbolize eternal sleep. This symbolism was evoked in the children's novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a children's novel written by L. Frank Baum and illustrated by W. W. Denslow. Originally published by the George M. Hill Company in Chicago on May 17, 1900, it has since been reprinted numerous times, most often under the name The Wizard of Oz, which is the name of...

, in which a magical poppy field threatened to make the protagonists sleep forever.

A second interpretation of poppies in Classical mythology is that the bright scarlet colour signifies a promise of resurrection after death.Robert Graves
Robert Graves
Robert von Ranke Graves 24 July 1895 – 7 December 1985 was an English poet, translator and novelist. During his long life he produced more than 140 works...

, The Greek Myths, 24. 15 p. 96, ISBN 0-14-001026-2


The poppy of wartime remembrance is Papaver rhoeas, the red-flowered corn poppy. This poppy is a common weed
Weed
A weed in a general sense is a plant that is considered by the user of the term to be a nuisance, and normally applied to unwanted plants in human-controlled settings, especially farm fields and gardens, but also lawns, parks, woods, and other areas. More specifically, the term is often used to...

 in Europe and is found in many locations, including Flanders
Flanders
Flanders is the community of the Flemings but also one of the institutions in Belgium, and a geographical region located in parts of present-day Belgium, France and the Netherlands. "Flanders" can also refer to the northern part of Belgium that contains Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp...

, the setting of the famous poem "In Flanders Fields
In Flanders Fields
"In Flanders Fields" is one of the most notable poems written during World War I, created in the form of a French rondeau. It has been called "the most popular poem" produced during that period...

," by the Canadian surgeon and soldier John McCrae
John McCrae
Lieutenant Colonel John Alexander McCrae was a Canadian poet, physician, author, artist and soldier during World War I and a surgeon during the Second Battle of Ypres...

. In Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, artificial poppies (plastic in Canada, paper in the UK, Australia and New Zealand) are worn to commemorate those who died in war. This form of commemoration is associated with Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. This day, or alternative dates, are also recognized as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth...

, which falls on November 11. In Canada, Australia and the UK, poppies are often worn from the beginning of November through to the 11th, or Remembrance Sunday if that falls on a later date (November 13th in 2011). In New Zealand and Australia, soldiers are commemorated on ANZAC day (April 25), although the poppy is still commonly worn around Remembrance Day. Wearing of poppies was once a custom in the United States as well, and attempts have been made to revive the tradition in the US in connection with Memorial Day
Memorial Day
Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War...

 (end of May).

Medical uses

Ancient Egyptians doctors would have their patients eat seeds from a poppy to relieve pain. Modern science tells us why this worked: poppy seeds contain both morphine
Morphine
Morphine is a potent opiate analgesic medication and is considered to be the prototypical opioid. It was first isolated in 1804 by Friedrich Sertürner, first distributed by same in 1817, and first commercially sold by Merck in 1827, which at the time was a single small chemists' shop. It was more...

 and codeine
Codeine
Codeine or 3-methylmorphine is an opiate used for its analgesic, antitussive, and antidiarrheal properties...

, excellent pain-relieving drugs that are still used today.

Other uses

The California poppy
California poppy
The California poppy is a perennial and annual plant, native to the United States, and the official state flower of California.- Description :...

, Eschscholzia californica, is the state flower of California.

In Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, Grupo Modelo
Grupo Modelo
Grupo Modelo is a large brewery in Mexico, It has 63% of the Mexican beer market, and exports beer to the United Kingdom, United States and Canada . Its export brands include Corona, Modelo, and Pacífico...

, the makers of Corona
Corona (beer)
Corona Extra, better known as Corona and labeled as Coronita in Spain, is a brand of pale lager owned and produced by Cerveceria Modelo at a number of breweries in Mexico. It is one of the best-selling beers in Mexico and is one of the top-selling beers worldwide...

 beer, used red poppy flowers in most of its advertising images until the 1960s.

A poppy flower is depicted on the reverse
Obverse and reverse
Obverse and its opposite, reverse, refer to the two flat faces of coins and some other two-sided objects, including paper money, flags , seals, medals, drawings, old master prints and other works of art, and printed fabrics. In this usage, obverse means the front face of the object and reverse...

 of the Macedonian
Republic of Macedonia
Macedonia , officially the Republic of Macedonia , is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991...

 500 denars
Macedonian denar
The denar is the currency of the Republic of Macedonia. It is subdivided into 100 deni . The name denar comes from the name of the ancient Roman monetary unit, the denarius...

 banknote, issued in 1996 and 2003.National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia. Macedonian currency. Banknotes in circulation: 500 Denars (1996 issue) & 500 Denars (2003 issue). – access date 30 March 2009

The powerful symbolism of Papaver rhoeas has been borrowed by various advocacy campaigns, such as the White Poppy
White Poppy
thumb|right|300px|Artificial poppies placed as [[Anzac Day]] tributes on a [[cenotaph]] in [[New Zealand]]; mostly [[red poppy#Symbol|red poppies]] marketed by the [[Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association]], with a lone [[White Poppy]]...

 and Simon Topping
Simon Topping
Simon Topping is a Methodist minister and faith leader based in Hucclecote in Gloucester, England, known for his campaign work in favour of ending world poverty.-Background:...

's black poppy.

The girl's given name Poppy is taken from the flower.

Poppies (Amapolas in Spanish) are commonly featured as the central flower in Puerto Rican weddings.

Artificial poppies (called "Buddy Poppies") are used in the veterans' aid campaign by the Veterans of Foreign Wars
Veterans of Foreign Wars
The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is a congressionally chartered war veterans organization in the United States. Headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, VFW currently has 1.5 million members belonging to 7,644 posts, and is the largest American organization of combat...

, which provides money to the veterans who assemble the poppies and various aid programs to veterans and their families.

Canada issued special quarters (25-cent coins) with a red poppy on the reverse in 2004, 2008 and 2010. The 2004 Canadian "poppy" quarter was the world's first coloured circulation coin.

Gallery


Image:Poppy-purple.png|Opium poppy (Papaver somniferum)
Image:Crowning P Somniferum topview.jpg|Opium poppy
Opium poppy
Opium poppy, Papaver somniferum, is the species of plant from which opium and poppy seeds are extracted. Opium is the source of many opiates, including morphine , thebaine, codeine, papaverine, and noscapine...

 seed capsule
Capsule (fruit)
In botany a capsule is a type of simple, dry fruit produced by many species of flowering plants. A capsule is a structure composed of two or more carpels that in most cases is dehiscent, i.e. at maturity, it splits apart to release the seeds within. A few capsules are indehiscent, for example...


Image:Poppy seeds.jpg|Opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) seeds
File:California poppies 1.jpg|California Poppy
California poppy
The California poppy is a perennial and annual plant, native to the United States, and the official state flower of California.- Description :...


Image:Oldpoppies.jpg|Field of poppies, by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii
Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii
Sergey Mikhaylovich Prokudin-Gorsky was a Russian chemist and photographer. He is best known for his pioneering work in color photography of early 20th-century Russia.. Library of Congress. Retrieved 13 August 2006.-Early life:...

, ca. 1912
Image:Poppy2004.JPG|Poppies near Kelling
Kelling
Kelling is a village and a civil parish in the English county of Norfolk. The village is west of Cromer, north of Norwich and north-east of London. The village straddles the A149 Coast road between Kings Lynn and Great Yarmouth...

, North Norfolk
North Norfolk
North Norfolk is a local government district in Norfolk, United Kingdom. Its council is based in Cromer. The council headquarters can be found approximately out of the town of Cromer on the Holt Road.-History:...

, UK, June 2002
Image:BluePoppy.jpg|Himalayan blue poppy near Gumburanjon in Zanskar
Zanskar
Zanskar is a subdistrict or tehsil of the Kargil district, which lies in the eastern half of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The administrative centre is Padum...

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, July 2008
Image:Poppy-seeds.jpg|White poppy seeds. There are about 140,000 poppy seeds to the ounce.Dr. Hutchins, R. E. 1965. The Amazing Seeds. New York: Dodd, Mead and Company/ref>
Image:SeedsCaliforniapoppy.jpg|California poppy seeds
Image:Red poppie.jpg|Red poppy flower

See also

  • Heroin
  • In Flanders Fields
    In Flanders Fields
    "In Flanders Fields" is one of the most notable poems written during World War I, created in the form of a French rondeau. It has been called "the most popular poem" produced during that period...

  • Morphine
    Morphine
    Morphine is a potent opiate analgesic medication and is considered to be the prototypical opioid. It was first isolated in 1804 by Friedrich Sertürner, first distributed by same in 1817, and first commercially sold by Merck in 1827, which at the time was a single small chemists' shop. It was more...

  • Papaver rhoeas
  • Poppy goddess
    Poppy goddess
    The name poppy goddess was given to a large female figurine which is believed to represent a Minoan goddess, discovered in a sanctuary of the Post-palace period at Gazi of Crete.The teraccota figurine has raised hands and seeds of opium poppies on her head...

  • United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
    United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
    The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is a United Nations agency that was established in 1997 as the Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention by combining the United Nations International Drug Control Program and the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Division in the United Nations...

  • White poppy (symbol)
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