raspberryfool: (Raspberryfool)
One of the joys of summer in my garden is papaver somniferum, commonly known as the opium poppy. Each spring I sprinkle its seeds over the bare, cold earth. These jewel-like specimens rewarded me by brightening up my potato patch this summer...

poppies (1)

This garden beauty's white, sticky latex oozes out of the seed head when it's scored with a knife. The latex is harvested for its opium. It's also grown for its seeds, which are used in breads and cakes, and is the only papaver species with edible seeds.

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This big, red specimin popped up by my rose bush. I've been wanting these for ages!


However I'm still jealous of the allotment holders, who get to enjoy these gorgeous, red pom-pom types close-up!

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It's perfectly legal to grow papaver soniferum in the UK, as long as you're not starting your own cocaine farm!