A poppy is any of a number of colorful flowers, typically with one per stem, belonging to the poppy family. They include a number of attractive wildflower species with colorful flowers found growing singularly or in large groups; many species are also grown in gardens. Those that are grown in gardens include large plants used in a mixed herbaceous border and small plants that are grown in rock or alpine gardens.
The flower color of poppy species include: white, pink, yellow, orange, red, and blue; some have dark center markings. The species that have been cultivated for many years also include many other colors ranging from dark solid colors to soft pastel shades. The center of the flower has a whorl of stamens surrounded by a cup- or bowl-shaped collection of four to six petals. Prior to blooming, the petals are crumpled in bud, and as blooming finishes, the petals often lie flat before falling away.
Poppies may be found in the genera:
- Meconopsis – Himalayan poppy, Welsh poppy and relatives.
- Papaver – Iceland poppy, Oriental poppy, Opium poppy, corn poppy and about 120 other species.
- Romneya – Matilija poppy and relatives.
- Eschscholzia – California poppy and relatives.
- Stylophorum – Celandine-poppy, mock poppy, yellow-poppy, wood-poppy.
- Argemone – Prickly-poppy
- Canbya – Pygmy-poppy
- Stylomecon – Wind-poppy
- Arctomecon – Desert bearpaw-poppy
- Hunnemannia – Tulip poppy
- Dendromecon – Tree poppy
All species of poppies are attractive and most are cultivated as ornamental garden plants. A few species have other uses, principally as sources of drugs and foods. One species is so widely used, for both drugs and food, that its world production is monitored by international agencies. That species is the opium poppy, Papaver somniferum. It is grown for opium and opiates obtained from it, poppy seed for use in cooking and baking, poppyseed oil for both culinary and other uses, and as an ornamental garden plant.
Gallery of poppy images
Close-up of an Oriental poppy (Papaver orientale). Ontario, Canada. June 2002.
A poppy bud and plant.
Immature crowning Opium Poppy, top view.
Papaver somniferum seeds.
Close up view of a poppy bloom (and buds in the background). Papaver somniferum.
Close up of white poppy seeds. There are about 140,000 poppy seeds to the ounce
The Field or Corn poppy Papaver rhoeas.
Much of this article is copied from w:Poppy under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
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