Uncover Hidden Flowers meanings

During the Victorian times, people use flowers to send coded messages - thus they assigned meanings for each flower.

As for the poppy, the general Victorian meanings are imagination and eternal sleep. But this would actually change depending on the color of the poppy that was given since there are a lot of color varieties for the poppy. For example, the red poppies mean pleasure, white poppies means consolation and yellow poppies on the other hand represents success.

If you go over to China, you will find out that the poppy has a romantic meaning for lovers. It actually signifies the loyalty and faith given to each other. This meaning sprung from a Chinese legend where it is said that poppies bloomed in a woman’s grave. The flower is said to inspire the woman’s lover to do heroic feats. He did so by dancing on the battlefields with his prized sword.

  • Name: Poppy
  • Color: A variety of colors - can almost be in any color.
  • Shape: Cupped shape
  • Fact: Codeine and morphine are drugs derived from the poppies. Opium can also be derived from a species of a poppy which has long been cultivated in India.
  • Poisonous: Almost every part of the poppy is poisonous but each part has different toxicity level. Be careful with raw green poppy seeds because this is known to be the most toxic part of the poppy.
  • Number of Petals: A poppy has 4 - 6 petals.
  • Victorian Interpretation: Pleasure, eternal sleep, imagination
  • Blossom Time: Depends on the species of poppy but usually it’s from May to June
  • Superstitions: The Chinese believes in the superstition that if you will get lucky by smelling the poppy flower for three times a day. It is also said that there will be thunder if you plucked a poppy – regardless if it’s by chance or on purpose.

What the Poppy Means

As for Roman tradition, it is said that this flower can heal a broken heart and that it is widely used in the practice of witchcraft. On the other hand, for ancient Greek, poppies are important for athletes because it is believed to bring strength and vitality. So the Greek athletes were given a mixture of wine, honey and poppy seeds for consumption. Ancient Greek woman also uses poppies as love charms because they believe that it is a sign of fertility.

For war veterans, the poppy is used to honor their lost brothers who bravely risked their lives in the battlefield. This originated during the Napoleonic wars where poppies bloomed in the Flanders Field. It is believed that the blood of the soldiers had caused the red poppies to bloom - and some took it as a sign that finally the war is over.

Christians however gave it another meaning during the medieval time. They said that it represents the Christian belief where they rest in anticipation for the coming of the Last Day. They even carved the flower poppies into their benches to remind their parishioners about it.

  • The Shape: Poppies generally are shape like cups but some say that they look like an inverted pyramid.
  • Petals: For every poppy flower, you will find 4 - 6 petals.
  • Numerology: The poppy has a numerical expression of 7 that are often associated with being a religious person and a recluse philosopher.
  • Color: There are different meanings for every color of the poppy flower. The most famous would be the red poppy that means pleasure.

Herbalism and Medicine

The poppy flower is famous for it’s medicinal property of being a narcotic. One of its varieties is specifically cultivated for opium, which as almost everybody knows, is regulated. Other regulated drugs that are derived from poppy are morphine and codeine.

By Florance Saul
Aug 21, 2012