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Common Poppy: an act of remembrance

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Common Poppy: an act of remembrance

I remember, many years ago, corn fields that turned red in mid-summer with hundreds and hundreds of blood-red common poppy (Papaver rhoeas) flowers. It was an awesome sight. The poppy thrives in disturbed ground and so farm fields were ideal for them. Along with corncockle and corn marigold, both now incredibly rare, poppies were one of most common and most distinctive weeds of cultivation. 

Sadly, poppies are also becoming increasingly scarce and are confined to the corners of fields where the sprays do not reach and to people's gardens. They also crop up in roadside gutters and other unlikely places where they can eke out a living. They are losing the battle against the herbicide along with many other unwanted weeds.

There are many complex issues around this particular subject, one of them being that these 'weeds' are also the food source for many of our insects and as the flowers go, so too do the insects and as the insects go so the pollination of crops is affected. These flowers are poisoned to improve our cereal crop yields but this is at the cost of the many other crops we depend on.

I find it sadly ironic that the poppy we wear with pride to remember the human fallen in war may lose its war with humankind and the British Legion fabric poppies may be our only memories of this iconic flower.


 

If you would like to see the complete series that this post is part of click here ---->
This nature note was written by ----> Peter Orchard
This nature nore was written ----> 2 years 1 month ago

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