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Welsh Poppy

Don’t let the name fool you, though it may be native to Wales, the Welsh poppy has found its way north like its red cousin. It grows wild in damp, rocky and sheltered sites near habitation around the Borders and lowlands, and is widely used as a garden flower or liberally sprinkled in wildflower meadows.  In an urban environment it can be found growing between paving slabs and next to walls.

The flower is yellow, though sometimes orange, with four petals around yellow stamens. A white stile in the middle of the flower sits upon an oval green ovary. Before opening the buds droop down to almost half the length of the stem, and the bud consists of hairy green sepals that fall off after the flower has opened.

History – Though Carl Linnaeus originally named the flower Papaver cambrica, in recognition of its place in the poppy family, Louis Viguier renamed it Meconopsis cambrica, due to the Papaver having no stigma, whereas the Cambrica does, which he felt put it in a different family. The Royal Horticultural Society begs to differ, calling it by Linnaeus’s original name of Papaver cambrica.

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