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Grow Opium Poppy

The opium poppy, also known as papaver somniferum, is a variety of the family of the papaver plants. The opium poppy is perhaps the most popular among all other varieties, due to the opium contained in all the plant, except for the seeds, which are absolutely harmless.

It is a hard task to define exactly who was the first culture to grow opium poppy. Anthropologists have found fossilized seeds on human remaining as old as about thirty thousand years, and those were found in the Middle East, so we get the original location, but its growing rapidly spread all over Europe, and Asia a little later.

Opium poppy has had a close relation with ancient cultures from these regions. Starting with the oldest record found in Samaria, were opium poppy receives the name of “plant of joy”, going through the Egyptians who found out quite “safe” ways of making the best use of the plant’s sedative properties and had a large list of recipes using opium.

Greeks would grow opium poppy, and were common opium consumers as well, the world’s first real doctor Herodotus wrote about the pain reliever and euphoria-causing properties of this plant, and warned about the risk of abusing of opium, which he knew to cause a slow-coming death when taken too often, and completely mortal if used in excessive quantities. As it happens these days, Herodotus advice is not enough to make people careful about its use, and like then, opium or its modern derivates cause a lot of people to die. The plant even has a place in their mythology, were Demeter created the plant so she could sleep, to finish with her endless long nights of insomnia after she lost her daughter Persephone. The gods of sleep Hypnos and Somnos were represented carrying or wearing poppies.

The plant was so popular in the Roman Empire that was easily available at the street-markets in Rome and some opium poppy Roman sculptures exist. Pretty much in all of these cultures –and other not mentioned here- to grow opium poppy was a normal and respected activity, for this reason, it was thought that the plant was actually a gift from heaven, god, the gods or whatever deity they believed on. It was so fine to use it, that parents would administer opium-based solutions to their children as a way to keep them happy and calm. That situation remained until the nineteenth century.

Before the twentieth century to grow opium poppy and consuming it, was not forbidden as it is today, it was used as a medicine, and not meant as a drug. Scientific and medical society didn’t think the human body could become addict to a cure. Luckily time has proven that theory to be wrong. Morphine is highly addictive.

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Super Giganthemums

Our highly popular, seasonal Super Giganthemums are back in stock. We only have a limited supply of these popular poppy pods until the next drying season in August. These are the largest and most beautiful pods we have seen in a while.

Poppy Information

Want to know more about poppies? Then take a look at our poppies information pages.