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The common field poppy, corn poppy or Papaver rhoeas is a striking plant in itself, and is commonly seen in the borders of gardens and even in fields and pastures, as the name suggests. This annual has light green leaves lobed leaf and upright hairy stems, which hold a solitary four petalled, bowl-shaped bright red flower.
This iconic flower can be up to 10cm across and can have a black centre, while the plant can grow to be 60cm tall. Seen in the fields of Flanders after the battles of World War I, the poppy has become a symbol associated with Remembrance Day.
Poppies prefer sunny well-drained soil, and can be sown in the autumn directly into the garden, where they will germinate in the spring, and as they self seed happily, you will need to dead-head if you want to avoid this.
As a culinary herb, the seeds are used in baking and there is evidence that they have been used to add flavour to baking and cooking since Roman times.
The seeds are used internally for a range of conditions, as being a sedative, astringent herb, it has been found to relieve muscle spasms, insomnia anxiety etc. It is important to remember that all parts of Papaver spp.except the seeds are toxic if ingested, and the cultivation of Papaver somniferum(opium poppy) is subject to legal restrictions in some countries.