Dried Papaver | Papaver Somniferum dried flowers in various colours
The poppy is an ancient cultivated plant, whose homeland is Southern Europe and South Asia. It was originally grown for the seeds and was distinguished by the colour white and blue poppy seeds (the colour of the seed is related to the colour of the flowers, which are lighter in the white poppy seed). But the ancients also already knew the analgesic and other effects of the moon juice and they understood it just as well to prepare it cleanly. Even today, in several countries, especially in Asia, the opium poppy is cultivated for the milky juice that flows from the nearly ripe seed pods when they are incised. This juice is dried and is called opium. With us, the plant is also grown on heavy soil, but for the seed, from which a drying, non-narcotic oil, poppy oil, is beaten.
Papaver Somniferum , also known just as the Poppy are really popular dry flowers within our range. However we don"t dry the flower when it is in full bloom just when the flower has faded. The Poppy seedheads are what we are looking for. The suffix "somniferum" means sleep inducing in Latin, referring to the fact that the poppy exudes opium when wounded. The Papaver Somniferum is a stem characterised by its long, erect stem and big head. The typical stripes on the seedhead are maintained during the drying process, adding some depth to the surface colour of the heads. The poppy heads look great when mixed with other dried products such as Oats (Avena) or Statice Tatarica even though they have a similar tone the contrasting texture is really interesting. However they also look really magnificent when mixed simply with roses or Lagurus in their natural colours!