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Flower Spotlight: Poppy

The poppy is one of the flowers with the most history and meaning. They were used by doctors for centuries to treat patients and often served as inspiration to poets. No flower compares to this beauty, not even the rose!

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15 Hot Summer Flowers

Summer begins Saturday June 21st. If you enjoy having seasonal blooms on your table or in your home, check out this list of some of the most popular summer flowers available June through August. Your florist may not have all of these on-hand every day, but they should be available if you give her a couple days notice.

Rainbow of BloomsSavannah StyleCelebrate the Day

Sensational Summer Flowers

  1. Begonia – These are beautiful flowers that come in large variety of colors. They are native to tropical climates, but can be grown in colder regions of the world during the summer months. This flower traditionally means, beware or be cautious. Sound advice if you are planning on giving these flowers as a gift to your significant other.
  2. Chrysanthemum – These flowers have a long and storied history dating back to before the 15th Century BCE. So if you’re looking for blooms with a little gravitas, these are the flowers for you. They traditionally mean joy or optimism.
  3. Orchid – These delicate blooms represent love, luxury, beauty and strength. They have long been coveted flowers because of their fragile beauty and long lives.
  4. Gardenia  The perfect choice for the secret admirer or the smitten would-be lover. This flower traditionally means secret love and is a wonderful way to let someone know you’re thinking of them.
  5. Gerbera – A popular choice, this flower means innocence, purity and cheerfulness. For more information about the Gerbera, check out our March Flower Spotlight!
  6. Hyacinth – A wonderful flower for professing your devotion, the hyacinth traditionally means constancy. Its name comes from an unsurprisingly tragic tale from Greek Mythology, but then what Greek Myth doesn’t end in tragedy?
  7. Hydrangea – These make a wonderful gift to give after you’ve had a sincere apology accepted. The traditional meaning of hydrangea is heartfelt emotion and gratitude for being understood.
  8. Iris – The iris is another flower whose name hails from the Greeks. It stands for faith, hope, wisdom, courage and admiration.
  9. Lily – The lily may be a flower that has grown alongside mankind as long as there has been a thing such as mankind. As such, it has many different meanings depending on the culture you’re coming from. For detailed information on the lily, check out our April Flower Spotlight!
  10. Lilac – Oh, those flower loving Greeks, they named another one! It should come as no surprise that so many summer flowers have names that come from the Greek isles. After all, the Mediterranean climate is sort of … summery. The lilac is perfect as a gift from a student to a teacher or from you to your child as the flower traditionally means youthful innocence.
  11. Magnolia – The magnolia tree is a common site throughout most of the South during the summer. It is a gorgeous white blossom that means splendid beauty and dignity and is perfect for that singular love of your life.
  12. Marigold – The marigold is a gorgeous flower that comes in bright, vibrant oranges and reds. It should then come as no surprise that it traditionally means passion and creativity. This makes it the perfect gift for that relationship in the heat of its life.
  13. Peony – The peony is lovely flower that means good fortune and a happy marriage. It is generally considered synonymous with the 12th wedding anniversary. For more information on peonies, check out the May Flower Spotlight!
  14. Poppy – The poppy has a gorgeous bloom and means beauty, magic, consolation, fertility and eternal life. It makes a good gift for many different situations, and its versatility makes it popular.
  15. Rose – I’m sure you’re more than familiar with this extremely popular flower, but it is a summer flower and it’s popularity makes it impossible to leave off this list. Roses have many different meanings based on their color, but the most commonly known is red which means romantic love. For more information on roses, check out our February Flower Spotlight.

Sweet Georgia PeachSun-Drenched ColorHooray For Summer

Summer is definitely the season for flowers, and as always, the best place to get those flowers is from your local florist. Don’t neglect yourself this warm summer season, buy some flowers for you or a loved one and enjoy the best that nature has to offer!

What is this Double Blooming Flower With Spiny Foliage

Ask The Plant Expert:

Hello, can you tell me what kind of flower this is? Opium Poppy, Papaver somniferumI live in Pendleton County KY and I recently moved in to a new house and last week. This flower popped up and no one can identify what it is so i was wondering if you could. Thanks Olivia

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:

Olivia, this flower looked very familiar to me, but I could quite identify it by name. Fortunately, Rick Pudwell at the Memphis Botanical Garden was able to identify it for me.

According to Rick, the flower is an “Opium Poppy, Papaver somniferum. This is a fancy, double-garden form, but is exactly the same species that is grown in Afghanistan.”

Know as the common garden poppy, the seeds of this plant produce poppy seed oil which is a very useful and healthy edible oil. The plant can also be used to produce opium.

This plant is considered a noxious weed in some states, particularly West Virginia. You might want to check with the Pendleton County Kentucky Extension Service to see if it is considered a noxious weed in your area.

Hope this information was helpful. Please let me know if I can help with anything else.

****Again thanks to Rick Pudwell at the Memphis Botanical Garden. If anyone is in the Memphis area, stop by the Memphis Botanical Garden. It is a wonderful place to visit.****

What Type of Poppy Is This?

Ask The Plant Expert:

I found this in my neighbors garden and love it. I bought tons of poppies before so, I was wondering what kind this is. The leaves aren’t fuzzy, but look more like a succulent. We live on the coast of Maine, and they followed the sun the day I took the picture. This was around 6 am; at around 10 am it was fully open. – Emily

Red Poppy

Flower Shop Network‘s Plant Expert Reply:


I think it is a type of Papaver somniferum (Opium poppy). It is hard to tell from the picture. Do the leaves have a slight blue-green tint to them? Has it produced any blue-green seeds pods? The blue-green leaves and seed pods are a good indication that it is a type of Papaver somniferum.  Papaver somniferum is hardy in Maine. Some states and countries may prohibit the growing of this poppy. You might want to check with you state extension service to see if it is ok to propagate it in Maine.

Hope this information was helpful. Please let me know if you help with anything else.

What Is This Flower That Just “Popped” Up?

Ask The Expert: This flower “popped” up this year and was not here last year. Any help identifying it?? It looks like it could be in the poppy family but we just don’t know. Beautiful bright orange flower with brown poppy-like center and green jagged leaves with a fuzzy appearance.


Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply: Yes, what you have is a poppy. I believe you have a type of Papaver orientale (Oriental poppy). As for which variety, I am unable to make an exact identification. This species of poppy is a clump-forming type with large cupped shaped flowers and hairy, toothed, lance-shaped leaves. They grow in moist but well drained soil in full sun and can tolerate some shade. These perennials grow best in zones 3 thru 8, where they can be left in the ground year-round. The plant is propagated by seed, root cutting or division.

In the US this species can be found Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin either naturally or in great numbers. In Canada, you can find it in Ontario.

Since I don’t know where you found the plant, I suspect that the wind or birds dropped the seed in your garden and the conditions were just right for germination.

Hope this information helps. Please let me know if I can do assist with anything else.

The Official Memorial Flower

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.

– John McCrae

In 1915, World War I Colonel John McCrae wrote the poem In Flanders Fields which expressed his grief over the “row on row” of graves of soldiers who gave their loves in battles. His words paint a vision of beautiful poppies (Papaver rhoeas) swaying slowly in the wind between the crosses. These poppies quickly became the symbol of remembrance for those who fought in WWI.


The poppy became a well-known symbol to allied countries — America, Britain, France, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Two women, Anna E. Huerin and Moina Micheal worked to initiate the sale of artificial poppies, called Buddy Poppy, with proceeds going to help orphans and others left destitute by the war. In 1924, an artificial poppy factory was established in Pittsburgh, PA providing a place for unemployed or disabled veterans to work. The VFW trademarked the name “Buddy” as an artificial flower, which guarantees any Buddy Poppy you buy since 1924 was hand-assembled by a disabled veteran in a VA hospital.


Today, veterans at VA medical facilities and veterans homes, veterans still assemble these symbols of remembrance. The Veterans of Foreign War distributes these small tokens every November for Veterans Day. Donations received from the distribution of these poppies have helped countless veterans and their widows, widowers, and orphans over the years.

For Veterans Day, remember the poppy in your red-white-and-blue decorations. No flower evokes memories and emotions of war as much as the red poppy, it is truly the official memorial flower.

Interesting Bloom Is A Poppy

Ask the Expert: What is this?
We moved into an already landscaped home a couple of years ago. I have always thought this was a thistle and pulled it, not thinking twice about it.  This year it escaped me and this is what we have? It looks like a thistle but it is not prickly, the stems are “hairy” but soft. After it started blooming it shed it’s “pods”. The leaves look almost like crepe paper. They are truly beautiful if it is a thistle!  Do you have any ideas? Suzie

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:

The plant you have is a type of a poppy.  I believe it is an Oriental Poppy ( Papaver orientale “Allegro”), but just from a picture it is hard to tell which poppy it is. The Oriental Poppies are clump-forming perennials that spread and bloom late spring to mid-summer.  It is very similar to the corn poppy or field poppy ( Papaver rhoeas) which happens to be the Memorial Day Flower.

Although similar in looks it is not a California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica) which is the state flower of California.

This flower identification question was brought to you by the local Sacramento Florists

Need Flowers That Express Condolences?

"Magenta Sunset Urn" Funeral Flowers

"Magenta Sunset Urn" Funeral Flowers

Though no one likes to think about the moments for which we’d need sympathy flowers, it’s best to be prepared for when the moment arrives. This means being prepared to discuss sympathy and funeral flower options with your local florist.

A few cut flowers have very significant meanings that will help convey your sympathies. When speaking with your local florist, discuss flowers such as poppy, cosmos, forget-me-nots, geraniums, larkspur, jasmine, lisianthus and zinnia. The flower meanings of each represents a very special sentiment. If desired, include a small statement about why these flowers were chosen.

The meanings of these flowers are:

  • Poppy = Consolation
  • Cosmos = Peaceful
  • Forget-Me-Not = “Remember Me Forever”
  • Geranium = Comfort
  • Larkspur = Beautiful Spirit
  • Jasmine = Grace and Elegance
  • Lisianthus = Calming
  • Zinnia = Thoughts of Friends

Your local florist will be able to discuss which flowers are appropriate, their seasonal availability, and other important details before sending a sympathy arrangement. Whichever flowers you choose, the recipient will know just how much you care.

Be careful With This Orange Poppy



Ask the Expert: any idea what this flower is? Is it child safe? I found this at a farm pond in ohio. I have never seen one like it and can’t find it in any of flower identification. It was tough to get a good picture, but the pedals are wrinkled looking, and the plant is prickly and has pods on long stems. Not sure if the attachment worked please let me know. Michael

Plant Expert:

From the picture it is a little difficult to tell, but I believe you have some kind of poppy (Papaver). The blooms seems to be what they call double which are a little different from what we normally see in a poppy.  It could be a Papaver somniferum, Papaver lateritium ‘Fireball’ or a Papaver rupifragium.   All poppies can be toxic if ingested.  However, only the Papaver somniferum contains opium.  This plant can be poisonious for some animals as well.

If you really need a definitive identification, take a bloom, a seed pod and a leaf to your local extenstion service.  They should be able to identify it.