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Papaver rhoeasPapaver rhoeas
Flanders poppy, Corn poppy
This flower that so gladly covers fields is usually connected to Demeter, the goddess of the harvest, and to the Element of Earth. It was believed that this plant's presence ensured a good corn harvest (thus its name). I've often wondered if that was because it's a peaceable substitute for blood. A native of Europe that has become naturalized in North America, this plant normally has red petals, which were an ingredient in Syrup of Red Poppy, a sedative and a cough suppressant for children. The "Shirley" poppy was developed from this wild plant. The milky juice of this magick herb is sedative, and when fresh, the flowers smell like opium, but this plant does not contain morphine or codeine.  Top

Papaver rhoeas budHow to grow it: In the north, sow in the early spring (surface sow, then lightly rake where you sowed to trigger germination); in the south, sow in the fall.  Sow on the surface of moist soil (don't cover).  Keep moist but not soggy and at around 60F/15C, and seeds will germinate in 2-4 weeks.  This is also a poppy seed that you can broadcast on the snow, and it will come up in the spring--I saw this technique in Ken Druse's wonderful book Making More Plants, tried it, and it definitely works. This annual plant gets 18-24"/45-60cm tall and blooms in mid- to late summer. It prefers full sun but will tolerate partial shade. The soil should be well-drained. General growing info Top

Papaver rhoeas
Corn Poppy
10 g seeds $5.00


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Uses in Witchcraft & Magic:

Honoring Demeter
Fertility
Earth Magic

2004, 2015 Harold A. Roth; No reproduction without permission