Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Equisetopsida - Order: Ranunculales - Family: Papaveraceae
Common Poppy, also known as Corn Poppy or Field Poppy, is an annual and grows to a height of 50 to 75cm. The flowers, born singly on hairy stems, are 50 to 100mm across and have four red petals each with a black spot at the base.
Common throughout the central and eastern parts of Britain and Ireland, the Common Poppy is less plentiful in the north of England and in Scotland. This striking wildflower occurs throughout most of mainland Europe, northern Africa and much of Asia.
Popies love disturbed soil. There can be few lovelier sights than a cornfield with swathes of poppies... and sad to say few rarer sights in most parts of Britain nowadays. Poppies are still plentiful on some motorway cuttings, and they can spring up anywhere that light, sandy soil has been recently disturbed. In Europe (and in the Mediterranean region in particular) where less intensive farming regimes are used, it is still common to see fields full of poppies. The Common Poppy sprang up in profusion on the battlefields of World War II, most particularly in France and Belgium, and has great significance in remembrance of the fallen soldiers.
In Britain the Common Poppy usually produces flowers from June until August, but in southern Europe this wildflower can appear as early as February.
The specific epithet rhoeas comes from the Greek word for red.
The pictures shown on this page were taken in England and Wales during June, in France during May, and in southern Portugal during March.
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