Thursday, April 19, 2007


After cyclamen, I think the poppy to be the most graceful Jordanian wildflower flower, particularly, Papaver subpiriforme, pictured left. Though their unopened buds droop softly, once opened, a crumpled crimson flower unfurls to stand erect upon a long and delicate stem.

Much mythology and lore surrounds the poppy, revered by the ancients and the medievals for its magical powers. Poppy remains have been found in Egyptian tombs over 3000 years old and there are many references to its magical and healing powers in Greek and Roman myths. The species Papaver Somniferus (not indigenious in Jordan) is named after the Roman God, Somnus, bringer of sleep. Demeter, the Greek Earth goddess also believed in the healing power of the poppy and from them she was relived of pain as she searched for her abducted daugher, Persephone. When Adonis died, poppies were said to have sprung from the tears of his beloved, Aphrodite, and based on this myth, poppies became a favorite love charm of the Middle Ages; the list of poppy association with myth, sleep, dreams, the underworld, healing, etc. is long.

Glaucium aleppicum

Besides Genus Papaver, Jordan boasts at least three species of poppies from genus Glaucium. The plant and the flowers are sturdier than those of genus Papaver and the buds are more elongated and often erect.

Glaucium grandiflorum

Romemeria hybrida

Papaver subpiriforme

I photographed these two poppies on our Easter walk. As the wind gently blew over them they appeared to be talking. Really! Even my dear husband noticed and he is not one to talk to flowers--even though he now knows a few by name.


Frances Goodman فرانسيس said...

We both went on an Easter walk and took in the flowers! Thanks for the post, I've been wondering about those popies; they are beautiful!

Cindy said...

Your pictures are lovely. I am enjoying all the poppies here. We had a terrible cold front that blasted many of the leaves on the trees and even my early roses but the poppies are blooming.

Patti said...

Beautiful photos, Melissa.