Friday, April 24, 2009

Papaver rhoeas, Flanders Poppy

'In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses,row on row
That mark our place;and in the sky
The larks,still bravely singing fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below'
Lt.Col. John McCrae (1872-1918)
Published Punch vol.cxlix,8,Dec 1915

Papaver rhoeas botanical detail

Papaver rhoeas Flanders Poppy

Papaver rhoeas flower

The Flanders poppy will be forever associated with ANZAC day (April 25th) and with Remembrance Day (November 11th), a time we pause to reflect on, and remember those who lost their lives in service to this country.
This poppy is not difficult to grow and now is the time to sow seed or plant seedlings. Quite good results can be achieved by scattering seed over bare dirt and letting nature do the rest, The stems of the plant tend to be fairly lax as it has adapted to using meadow grass and other plants in fields as support while it is growing . It also needs well drained gritty soil to do well. In good soil there will be lush foliage growth and few flowers. Packets of seed are usually available from Diggers Seeds and seedlings are sold in punnets from Floriana.

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