The Poppy – An Inspirational Flower

Poppy-RoseWith this year’s centenary commemorations for the start of World War 1 there will probably be more representations of poppies than usual.

poppy-shirley-series

Various forms of the poppy single or double, annual or perennial and in a variety of colours from white through yellow to salmon pink to deep red are found all over the world.

Katsushika Hokusai poppies
Poppies by Katsushika Hokusai
Edo period (19th century) woodblock print.

The delicate annual field poppy (papaver rhoeas) germinates from recently turned soil, thriving and blooming across the summer. Up close poppies are striking, but still have an ephemeral quality that has long inspired visual artists.

silk Japanese furisode
Vintage silk Japanese furisode with poppy design. Thought to be from the Taisho period (1912-1926).

There’s even the stunning blue Himalayan poppy, meconopsis. I once grew some meconopsis (M. baileyi I think) in my front garden as it provided the best conditions. Eventually in its second year it bloomed. I was so thrilled with the amazing colour, but to my utter surprise the next day somebody leaned over the low wall and picked all the flowers and I hadn’t even had chance to take a picture! I hoped it was a child that was so in awe of the colour that they had taken the flowers home to show to their family.

Kitchen-flowers

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Author: agnesashe

Artisan, blogger and passionate East Anglian working from home.

4 thoughts on “The Poppy – An Inspirational Flower”

  1. very interesting and beautiful gallery. I made a blog about poppy, too, called “poppy an ambiguous flower”. It’s a very interesting plant regarding symbolism

    1. Yes, the poppy has certainly inspired across the ages and the continents with a long and interesting history. It would be good if somebody wrote a book about the poppy in a similar vein as the art historical and horticultural account ‘The Tulip’ by Anna Pavord.

      1. Oh how I would love to have the time to research and write such a book, but writing is not really my thing. I’m more visual than verbal. Really appreciate your sensitive animal photography. Agnes

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