Common Poppy

March 17th, 2012

Latin:  Papaver rhoeas

Irish:  Cailleach dhearg


Although well known and widely distributed Common Poppy is generally regarded as an introduced species rather than one that is native to Ireland.

The flaming red flower and hairy flower stems makes the poppy instantly recognisable. It is an annual whose seeds can remain dormant in the soil for long periods and spring to life whenever the soil is turned over.  It was probably because of the constant churning of the soil by artillery bombardment and trench digging that poppies flourished on the battlefields of Flanders and elsewhere and attained iconic status during World War I.


It is for similar reasons that poppies are found most often in arable fields, newly dug areas and other disturbed places.


The poppies at Castlewarden follow the same pattern, appearing only where soil has been disturbed and in the machinery yard.

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