Discovering the History of Red Poppies

When it comes to flowers, I love them all. All but one, however I will not reveal which one and why I don’t. That’s a different story that will be shared some other time. 

Today I come to share more info about the Poppies. Have you noticed them? How sweet, fragile, red they are? How delicate and beautiful they seem? A sign of brightness and happiness. Yesterday,  I spotted the first one of the year .. near my house! And I decided to research more about them.

Let’s see what I learned: 

Red poppies are scientifically known as Papaver rhoeas and  have a long history, holding a significant cultural significance in various parts of the world. Looking for the  origins of the red poppy, I found out that it can be traced back to the Mediterranean region and Western Asia, where they were first discovered as wildflowers.

The name “poppy” is derived from the Latin word “papaver,” which means milk, referring to the milky sap found in the stems of the plant. The bright red color of the poppy flower inspired its common name, as the color red has long been associated with passion, love, and war.

Red poppies are most commonly seen in fields and meadows, where they thrive in warm, sunny weather. They are often used as a symbol of remembrance for fallen soldiers, particularly in the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. This tradition started after World War I, when Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae wrote the famous poem “In Flanders Fields,” which speaks of the red poppies growing on the graves of fallen soldiers in Belgium.

In the United Kingdom, red poppies are sold by the Royal British Legion during the weeks leading up to Remembrance Day (also known as Armistice Day) on November 11th. The money raised from these poppy sales goes towards supporting veterans and their families. It is customary for people to wear red poppies on their lapels during the weeks leading up to Remembrance Day as a sign of respect and remembrance.

Red poppies are also significant in the United States, where they are used to honor fallen soldiers on Memorial Day, which is observed on the last Monday in May. The tradition of using red poppies as a symbol of remembrance started in the United States after Moina Michael read McCrae’s poem and was inspired to wear a red poppy as a sign of remembrance.

Apart from their cultural significance, red poppies are also used in traditional medicine to treat various ailments such as coughs, insomnia, and pain relief. The milky sap found in the stems of the plant contains alkaloids that have sedative and analgesic properties.

In conclusion, red poppies have a rich history and cultural significance that has been passed down through generations. Their bright red color and delicate petals make them a beautiful and enduring symbol of remembrance for fallen soldiers. Whether used as a symbol of remembrance or as a medicinal plant, the red poppy continues to hold a special place in the hearts of people around the world.

Do you like red poppies? Do you often see them where you live?


What do you think?

Written by katerinaramm

Leave a Reply