August Flower: Hello Poppy!

1 Aug

Poppy, The August Flower Loves the Heat

Hello, Bloomies, can you believe it’s August already? The weather will hopefully now start getting to temperatures I like. In hot weather, it’s easy to grow the August flower, Poppy! It is one of the flowers for birthdays this month, and in my opinion, much more suited to a birthday celebration than Gladiolas.  Though quite lovely, they are often used in funeral arrangements. Here are some fun facts about the fairer August flower.

A Wide Variety of Poppies

There are 11 different genera of poppies, but the most common poppy flowers we know of are in the papaver genera. They come in white, red, red-orange,orange, and yellow-orange, and generally have yellow or black centers. They are fairly delicate flowers, with big, showy blooms, and provide strong, bulbous pods after the petals fade. I love to use the pods in my decorating, as they have a beautiful color and they provide interesting texture.

Poppies in Myth and Legend

Poppies are associated with a few Greek Gods, including Demeter the goddess of fertility and agriculture. The poppy is also linked to Hypnos, Nyx and Thanatos, the Gods of sleep, night, and death. This is most likely due to the fact that the sap from a poppy pod is a sedative; in some types of poppies it is strong enough to be used for opioids. There’s also that modern legend about eating too many poppy seeds leading to failed drug tests. Don’t worry, it takes A LOT.

The Meaning of Poppies

Giving someone a poppy doesn’t mean you want to put them to sleep (unless you are the Wicked Witch of the West), it actually means evanescent pleasure, or fantastic extravagance. That’s a much nicer message! It is this message that resonates in the art world. The red poppy was a recurring theme in art deco period paintings, fabrics and color palettes. Think about it- red lipstick, red nails, red curtains, red walls. A dramatic and beautiful statement to make. It still is popular today. No wonder there are so many nail polishes and lipsticks and paint chips and fabrics called Poppy or Poppy Red or Red Poppy!

Poppies in Floral Arrangements

While we don’t see too many poppies in the floral design world because they are truly delicate and the season is fleeting. there are a couple of flowers that have a similar appearance. White Anenomes and white ranunculous resemble white poppies, but are much smaller. Sounds like I need to plant this beautiful August Flower in my cutting garden to use next summer!

Thanks for reading Bloomies, talk to you next week!

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