Cruciform Pattern to Center of Wild Opium Poppy!


Austin, United States

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Austin, Tx., USA, early March

(CAUTION: POISON! Don’t mess with Mother Nature! Whether this one can be used for medicinal purposes or not, it requires the expertise of a botanist or medical specialist. Please do not attempt to cultivate these wild flowers for drug use! Also, Heroin has caused so much suffering in this country! Please avoid this drug!)

That said, this is a very interesting plant! You’ll love reading about it. I have provided a number of links.

Opium Poppy? Probably someone did this deliberately to play a joke on me, because the flowers popped up (so to speak :P) in one of my favorite parks for taking photos. I know who that is. haha. Funny. Probably saw my submissions to “The Addicted Photographer’s Group”. I don’t do drugs, funny person! Pretty flower, btw. I had never seen it before. Thanks. Very informative. I wondered about the cruciform maroon markings in the center of the flower. Apparently this is the Opium Poppy’s signature marking, and this is the wild variety, i.e., Wild Opium Poppy, as opposed to the cultivated ones. Each petal has the dark maroon marking at its base.

Papaver somniferum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Papaveraceae
Genus: Papaver
Species: P. somniferum
Binomial name
Papaver somniferum

But here’s the link in Wikipedia’s nice long article, worth looking up: (excerpt below taken from this link)

also of interest:

From Wikipedia:

“Opium poppy, Papaver somniferum, is the species of plant from which opium and poppy seeds are derived. Opium is the source of many opiates, including morphine (and its derivative heroin), thebaine, codeine, papaverine, and noscapine. The Latin botanical name means the “sleep-bringing poppy”, referring to the sedative properties of some of these opiates.

The poppy is the only species of Papaveraceae that is an agricultural crop grown on a large scale. Other species, Papaver rhoeas and Papaver argemone, are important agricultural weeds, and may be mistaken for the crop.

The plant itself is also valuable for ornamental purposes, and has been known as the “common garden poppy”, referencing all the group of poppy plants.

Poppy seeds of Papaver somniferum are an important food item and the source of poppyseed oil, a healthful edible oil that has many uses. It is widely grown as an ornamental flower throughout Europe, North America, South America, and Asia."

A few interesting links:\
(From the above link: “The flowers vary in colour from pure white to reddish purple. In the wild plant, they are pale lilac with a purple spot at the base of each petal.”)

This lovely wildflower was being blown about by the wind, and sometimes the petals would be pulled open, providing a lovely display. Thus, the wind became the artist, displaying this beautiful flower so many different ways. I just couldn’t tire of capturing it! I searched a number of places before I found it. I don’t think it’s native here, but I"ll keep looking. This was obviously a prank. Quite funny, actually, and a lovely plant. No wonder the bee in a previous photo was staying in the flower! hah!

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