Sunday, April 01, 2007

A Case of Mistaken Identity

This crimson flower beautifies many a Jordanian hill and field in the early weeks of spring. Often referred to as a poppy, it is, in fact, a crown anemone (pronounced "an'a mo nee" or "a ne'mo nee"--I use the first pronunciation for the flower and the second for the sea creature of the same name), a member of the Ranunculaceae family.

Though the blooming time of the anemone and the poppy overlap I have found that in many places, the anemone blooms first, the poppy, later. There are other ways the casual observer can distinguish between the anemone and the poppy: the leaf of the anemone is divided, giving it a more feathery appearance. Secondly,

the petals of both flowers are arranged differently; if one observes the bud of of an anemone one notices that the petals are layered in an orderly fashion, however the petals of a poppy appear as crumpled red tissue, wadded inside the poppy pod. Also, poppies contain a milky juice not found in anemones. Less noticeable differences include the fact that anemones are perennials, poppies, annuals, and poppies can be found in drier habitats than anemones.

Family~ Ranunculaceae
Anemone coronaria

Two more common members of the showy Ranunculaceae family:

Adonis aestivalis


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