Yellow Poppy


Uncover Hidden Flowers meanings

Yellow poppies mean wealth and success during the Victorians times.

It’s mainly due to some legends and stories that these meanings were attached to the flower.  According to a Greek legend, the poppy was the creation of the god of sleep.  Helping the goddess of corn when she lost her daughter, the poppies were used to sooth her to sleep.

If she rested the corn grew and because she fell asleep, the corn started to grow again.  It’s viewed that the poppies are essential to the growth of corn.  Corn is more than food but also a source of income.  That’s why yellow poppies mean wealth.

  • Name:  Yellow Poppy
  • Color:  The poppy flower comes in various shades of orange and red, but it’s most vibrant color is yellow. Poppy flower has a cheerful color that pops in any scenery and sometimes yellow poppies can have orange tinged centers on them.
  • Shape: Poppies, no matter what the color, are cup shaped flowers.
  • Fact:  As far back as the time of the Egyptian pharaohs, poppies were already being used.  They were found in Egyptian tombs in the Valley of Kings - dating as far back as 3000 years.
  • Poisonous:  Whether it’s the Mexican poppy or just the regular poppy, these plants are toxic to animals and to humans.
  • Number of Petals:  Poppies can have four petals but some can have as much as six petals.
  • Victorian Interpretation:  Because of their yellow color, poppies are representative of wealth and success in the Victorian language of flowers.
  • Blossom Time:  Yellow poppies come in full bloom starting in late spring.  This continues until the early part of the summer.
  • Superstitions:  It’s probably because of its pain relieving qualities that poppies were used in the early Roman times for witchcraft.  Whoever suffers pain from love is cured with the yellow poppies.

For the Greeks, poppies where thought to be a sign of fertility.  It’s also the bringer of strength and health and that’s why Greek athletes consumed mixtures of poppy seeds mixed in wine and honey.

In the Middle Ages, the belief about yellow poppies changed a bit.  It became a charm for protection against evil spirit - specifically when the plant was burned.

What the Yellow Poppy Means: 

On a lighter meaning, yellow poppies came to have this symbolism in a story about a woman turned into a poppy by a witch.  She could only visit her family at night and when she told her husband about this curse, the husband resolved to pick her out of the field of poppies to break the curse. 

In the morning, the husband picked his wife out of a thousand poppies that looked alike.  Because she spent the night at home, she didn’t gather dew.  The spell was broken.  That’s how yellow poppies started to mean success.

  • The Shape:  Yellow poppies look like yellow cups.
  • Petals:  The poppy’s petals are delicate and thin that are crumpled up when the flower is a bud.  After it blooms, the petals lay flat until they fall away.
  • Numerology:  In numerology, yellow poppies are number 7.  They depict knowledge, awareness and mediation.
  • Color:  Poppies have a bright yellow color signifying wealth and success.
  • Herbalism and Medicine:  Poppies like the yellow colored ones have a wide range of uses.  While mostly ornamental, it’s also used as food and as medicine.  For some specific varieties of the poppy, they have chemical properties of opium in them. 

Used as medicine, they help relieve pain.  Today, chemicals like codeine and morphine are extracted from poppy seeds.  These are used in pain relieving medication.  Also, poppies can be used for remedying colds and cough.

By Flo Saul
Aug 21, 2012