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Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

The seedlings of this annual plant appear in spring (1). The flowers, which are present from April to August (5), are visited by a large range of insects, but particularly bees (2). Each plant is able to produce around 17, 000 seeds, these can remain dormant in the soil for 80 years or more, perhaps even as long as 100 years (1). Poppy seeds have been found in Egyptian relics dating from 2,500 BC, and the poppy has been a symbol of death and rebirth since these times; it grows in the fields, is cut with the harvest and always returns the following year (4). The profusion of poppies on the First World War battlefields of Ypres and the Somme struck a chord with all who saw them. The war-churned wasteland of mud, shell holes and broken bodies had been transformed into a dazzling display of wild flowers, healing the land (4). The poem 'In Flanders Fields' written by a Canadian volunteer medical officer in Ypres during the winter of 1915 was published around the world. Following the publication of this poem, the practice of wearing artificial poppies to commemorate Armistice Day on the 11th of November became very popular, and continues today. In Britain, the Royal British Legion uses the proceeds from poppy sales to help ex-servicemen and women (4).
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Description

The common poppy is a familiar wild flower, which has long been a symbol of death and rebirth, and is worn in many countries on Remembrance Day in order to commemorate those who lost their lives during warfare (4). The vibrant blood red blooms are supported by hairy stalks; the rounded petals are broader than they are long, and often have a dark spot at the base. Pink or white flowers may also occur. The stamens consist of violet coloured anthers borne on purplish-black filaments, and the stigma is a flattened disk with 8-14 rays (2). The branching stems are covered with stiff hairs, and the leaves are narrow and divided into toothed segments (2). The fruit is in the form of a capsule, capped by a disk; the small brown seeds are released via holes that open below the disk (5).
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Comprehensive Description

Miscellaneous Details

"Notes: Western Ghats, Cultivated, Native of Eurasia"
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Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Tamil Nadu: Dindigul
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Distribution in Egypt

Nile and Mediterranean regions, Egyptian desert and Sinai (St.Katherine).

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Global Distribution

North Africa, Europe, Asia.

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introduced; Man., N.B., N.S., Ont., Que., Sask.; Alaska, Calif., Conn., D.C., Idaho, Ill., Iowa, La., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Mo., Mont., N.H., N.J., N.Mex., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Oreg., Pa., R.I., Tex., Utah, Vt., Va., Wash., W.Va.; Europe; sw Asia; n Africa.
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Range

The poppy was introduced to Britain; it is known from Bronze Age deposits, and it seems to have been introduced with early agriculture (1), in the seed-corn of early settlers (4). It is now widespread throughout much of Britain; it is common in England and southeast Scotland but becomes rare in north-western Scotland and is mainly found close to the coast in Wales. It is thought to be native to southern Europe, North Africa and temperate Asia (2), but has become naturalised outside of this range (3).
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Distribution: Europe, Asia and N. Africa.
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Europe, W. Asia, W. Africa; widely cultivated and a weed.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Annual, rarely biennial, erect or ascending, (20-) 30-90 (-120) cm tall herb, branched, hispid or stiffly hairy with 1-3 mm long, spreading whitish hairs, sometimes subglabrous, rarely glabrous. Leaves large, up to 15 cm long and 6 cm broad; basal and lower leaves ± stalked, larger, and less dissected; upper leaves sessile or subsessile, more dissected with narrow bases; all leaves usually 1-2-pinnatifid with narrow acute, ± toothed, bristle-pointed segments, ±hispid, very variable in size and segmentation but usually with a larger and broader terminal segment. Peduncle (10-) 15-30 cm long, usually stiffly hairy with spreading bristles. Flower bud large, ovoid or broadly ellipsoid, 10-20 mm long, ± stiffly hairy. Flowers very variable in size (3-) 4-8 cm in diam., usually scarlet, violet, pink (rarely whitish), often with a basal dark blotch. Petals suborbicular, 2-4 (-5) cm broad. Stamens as long as the ovary, bluish; filaments linear; anthers c. 1 mm long, oblong. Capsule subglobose to broadly obovoid, 10-20 mm long, usually slightly longer than broad, with a rounded base abruptly narrowed into an inconspicuous very short stipe, glabrous; stigmatic rays 8-12 (-20), almost reaching the end of the somewhat overlapping marginal lobes of the disk: seeds very small, dark-brown.
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Elevation Range

2500-3000 m
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Description

Plants to 8 dm, hispid to setulose. Stems simple or usually branching. Leaves to 15 cm; distal often somewhat clustered. Inflorescences: peduncle sparsely to moderately spreading-hispid throughout. Flowers: petals white, pink, orange, or red, often with dark basal spot, to 3.5 cm; anthers bluish; stigmas 5-18, disc ± flat. Capsules sessile or substipitate, turbinate to subglobose, obscurely ribbed, to 2 cm, less than 2 times longer than broad.
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Diagnostic Description

Diagnostic

Habit: Herb
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Ecology

Habitat

Fields, pastures, stream banks, railroads, roadsides, and other disturbed sites; 0-2000m.
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A 'weed' of arable fields, disturbed and open habitats, the poppy thrives best on light calcareous soils. It is often included in wild flower mixtures, and occurs in many areas as a garden escape (3). It is vulnerable to herbicides, and tends to occur mainly in field margins and strips of fields that have not been sprayed (3).
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Associations

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / spot causer
immersed sorus of Entyloma fuscum causes spots on live leaf (basal) of Papaver rhoeas
Remarks: season: 5-7

Foodplant / parasite
Erysiphe cruciferarum parasitises live Papaver rhoeas

Foodplant / parasite
sporangium of Peronospora arborescens parasitises live leaf of Papaver rhoeas

Foodplant / feeds on
colony of Dendryphion dematiaceous anamorph of Pleospora papaveracea feeds on capsule of Papaver rhoeas

Foodplant / feeds on
larva of Stenocarus umbrinus feeds on Papaver rhoeas

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering spring-summer.
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Flower/Fruit

Fl. Per. April-July.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Papaver rhoeas

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Papaver rhoeas

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 8
Specimens with Barcodes: 13
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Papaver rhoeas L.

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

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Status

Common and widespread (3).
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Threats

The intensification of agriculture that followed the Second World War had a serious impact on the poppy, and it was expelled from arable fields by the use of herbicides; becoming banished to field margins, hedgerows and neglected fields (4).
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Management

Conservation

Happily, the ability of poppy seeds to lie dormant for as long as 100 years allows the species to make a come-back to areas from which it has been suppressed by herbicides and fertilisers. This phenomenon has been seen widely following the introduction of 'set-aside' land (taking surplus land out of production). More recently, agri-environment schemes have encouraged farmers to revert to more traditional forms of farming, which also allows the poppy and other wild flowers to make a resurgence. Plantlife has included the common poppy in its Common Plant Survey. This survey aims to determine the status of 65 common plants in Britain, in order to understand how these species are faring in the countryside and to effectively monitor changes in their populations (6).
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Wikipedia

Papaver rhoeas

Papaver rhoeas (common names include corn poppy, corn rose, field poppy, Flanders poppy, red poppy, red weed, coquelicot, and, due to its odour, which is said to cause them, as headache and headwark) is a herbaceous species of flowering plant in the poppy family, Papaveraceae. This poppy, a native of Europe, is notable as an agricultural weed (hence the "corn" and "field") and as a symbol of fallen soldiers.

P. rhoeas sometimes is so abundant in agricultural fields that it may be mistaken for a crop. The only species of Papaveraceae grown as a field crop on a large scale is Papaver somniferum, the opium poppy.

Description[edit]

The three stages in a common poppy flower: bud, flower and capsule

Papaver rhoeas is a variable, erect annual, forming a long-lived soil seed bank that can germinate when the soil is disturbed. In the northern hemisphere it generally flowers in late spring, but if the weather is warm enough other flowers frequently appear at the beginning of autumn. It grows up to about 70cm in height. The flowers are large and showy, 50 to 100mm across,[2] with four petals that are vivid red, most commonly with a black spot at their base. The flower stem is usually covered with coarse hairs that are held at right angles to the surface, helping to distinguish it from Papaver dubium in which the hairs are more usually appressed. The capsules are hairless, obovoid in shape, less than twice as tall as they are wide, with a stigma at least as wide as the capsule. Like many other species of Papaver, the plant exudes white to yellowish latex when the tissues are broken.[3]

Natural history[edit]

Its origin is not known for certain. As with many such plants, the area of origin is often ascribed by Americans to Europe, and by northern Europeans to southern Europe. The European Garden Flora[citation needed] suggests that its origin is Eurasia and North Africa; in other words, the lands where agriculture has been practiced since the earliest times. It is known to have been associated with agriculture in the Old World since early times and has had an old symbolism and association with agricultural fertility. It has most of the characteristics of a successful weed of agriculture. These include an annual lifecycle that fits into that of most cereals, a tolerance of simple weed control methods, the ability to flower and seed itself before the crop is harvested, and the ability to form a long-lived seed bank. The leaves and latex have an acrid taste and are mildly poisonous to grazing animals.

A sterile hybrid with Papaver dubium is known, P. x hungaricum, that is intermediate in all characters with P. rhoeas.[3]

Cultural usage[edit]

United States commemorative stamp depicting Moina Michael and corn poppies
Claude Monet, "Summer Field of Coquelicots", 1875
An example of the artificial Flanders poppy which has been distributed by the millions throughout New Zealand by the RSA for Anzac Day activities and other days of remembrance.

Due to the extent of ground disturbance in warfare during World War I, corn poppies bloomed in between the trench lines and no man's lands on the Western front. Poppies are a prominent feature of "In Flanders Fields" by Canadian Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, one of the most frequently quoted English-language poems composed during the First World War. During the 20th century, the wearing of a poppy at and before Remembrance Day each year became an established custom in most western countries. It is also used at some other dates in some countries, such as at appeals for Anzac Day in Australia and New Zealand.

This poppy appears on a number of postage stamps, coins, banknotes, and national flags, including:

The common or corn poppy was voted the county flower of Essex and Norfolk in 2002 following a poll by the wild plant conservation charity Plantlife.[4]

Persian literature[edit]

In Persian literature, red poppies, especially red corn poppy flowers, are considered the flower of love. They are often called the eternal lover flower. In classic and modern Persian poems, the poppy is a symbol of people who died for love (Persian: راه عشق).

Many poems interchange 'poppy' and 'tulip' (Persian: لاله).

[I] was asking the wind in the field of tulips during the sunrise: whose martyrs are these bloody shrouded?
[The wind] replied: Hafez, you and I are not capable of this secret, sing about red wine and sweet lips.

Urdu literature[edit]

In Urdu literature, red poppies, or "Gul-e-Lalah", are often a symbol of martyrdom, and sometimes of love.

Uses[edit]

The commonly grown decorative Shirley Poppy is a cultivar of this plant. P. rhoeas contains the alkaloid rhoeadine which is a mild sedative.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Linné, Carl von (1753). Species Plantarum. Stockholm: Laurentius Salvius. p. 507. 
  2. ^ Blamey, M.; Fitter, R.; Fitter, A (2003). Wild flowers of Britain and Ireland: The Complete Guide to the British and Irish Flora. London: A & C Black. p. 32. ISBN 978-1408179505. 
  3. ^ a b Stace, C.A. (2010). New flora of the British isles (Third ed.). Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press. p. 88. ISBN 9780521707725. 
  4. ^ "County Flowers | Wild plants". Plantlife. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
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Notes

Comments

It is commonly known as ‘Corn poppy’ or ‘field poppy,. It is very variable in size, shape and hairiness of leaves, dark colouring of stamen filaments, black blotch on petals and shape of capsule etc. Some cultivated garden varieties called ‘Shirley poppies’ have wide range of flower shades and sometimes lack pigments. Papaver strigosum (Boenn.), Schur. has usually somewhat appressed hairs on the peduncle, but the character seems to be variable, leaving no difference between the two.

The robust and taller plants have been called Papaver hookeri Baker or var. hookeri (Baker) Fedde, but there seems to be no boundaries between the type race and this variety.

It is hardly put to any use in Pakistan, though the petals of “Shirley poppies” are said to be utilized in colouring drugs. The milk from the capsules is narcotic with a slightly sedative property and contains morphine in exceedingly minute proportion.

It seems to be under-collected in our area, and we have neither seen any specimen of this species from Baluchistan nor has Burkill (l.c) reported it from there, but R.R. Stewart (l.c) mentioned that many forms of this is cultivated in Baluchistan gardens.

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Comments

Papaver rhoeas originated on the east coast of the Mediterranean, probably derived from one or more of the other species of the section that are native in that region, and only after (and because) "suitable habitats in sufficient extent were provided by man." Various forms with pale pink or white, unspotted, sometimes doubled petals are grown for ornament, notably the Shirley poppies. In North America, the species escapes from cultivation fairly readily and has been introduced also as a crop weed. Excluded species: 

 Papaver dahlianum Nordhagen, Bergens Mus. Årbok 2: 46. 1931

Papaver radicatum Rottbfll subsp. dahlianum (Nordhagen) Rändel

We regard this species as being restricted to arctic Europe, a narrower circumscription than U. Rändel's (1977).

Papaver microcarpum de Candolle, Syst. Nat. 2: 71. 1821

We are so far unable to substantiate D. Löve's (1969) report of this essentially Asiatic species "from Seward and Kenai peninsulas in Alaska, the Aleutian Islands."

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