A month ago, these strange blue green plants emerged in the garden. My first impulse was to pull them but upon further examination, I decided to leave them and see what they were. Well, as you can tell, they are Opium Poppies. The bees just love them....I hope they are not becoming addicted! My brother Russell, threw some seeds out in the garden years ago when my Mother was still alive (I'm in the family home) and they finally produced.
The flower's botanical name is papaver somniferum. The Sumerians called it Hul Gil, the 'flower of joy.' This flower is grown mainly by impoverished farmers on small plots in remote regions of the world. It flourishes in dry, warm climates and the vast majority of opium poppies are grown in a narrow, 4,500-mile stretch of mountains extending across southern Asia from Turkey through Pakistan and Laos. Heroin is also increasingly becoming an export from Latin America, notably Colombia.
About three months after the poppy seeds are planted, brightly-colored flowers bloom at the tips of greenish, tubular stems. As the petals fall away, they expose an egg-shaped seed pod. Inside the pod is an opaque, milky sap. This is opium in its crudest form.
It's amazing how how a drug that has ruined so many lives can come from a plant that is so beautiful.