Corn Poppy, the delicate in red
They are a true Life force, longing to reproduce and spread:
one plant can produce 15000 to 20000 tiny seeds (!!!), well protected in hard capsules, which can be viable for long periods even when buried deep underground.
These seeds are light and easily disperseable.
It becomes however less and less frequent in agricultural lands, because of the increasing reliance on chemical herbicides...
Poppies are revered since before the Middle Ages as a symbol of peace and serenity. It grows where the land has been revolved and as so thrives in battle fields. It became a symbol of the 1st World War and the “eternal sleep of dead soldiers”.
It’s origins are uncertain, but is regularly associated with Old World agriculture and carries the symbolism of agricultural fertility. Along with wheat, the flower was the symbol of greek goddess Demeter, who ruled over agriculture and soils fertility. It tolerates simple weed control methods and has the ability to flower and seed itself before the crop is harvested, as well as to form a long-lived seed bank.
Its delicate and beautiful red petals can be used in salads (along with the seeds) or to make herbal teas, leaving them with a beautiful color. They are rich in mucilage, a very nurturing and protective substance for the skin and other membranes. It also contains alkaloids, tannins, flavonoids and anthocyanins (both antioxidants), pigments which give it its vibrant color and protect the skin against free radicals. In herbal traditional medicine, poppies were used to treat coughs, bronchitis, pneumonia, rash fever and minor sleep disorders in adults. If you plan to use it, be aware that the doses are very important with this plant, as it can be toxic.