Skip to main content
Select Source:

poppy

poppy, common name for some members of the Papaveraceae, a family composed chiefly of herbs of the Northern Hemisphere having a characteristic milky or colored sap. Most species are native to the Old World; many are cultivated in gardens for their brilliantly colored if short-lived blossoms. Many of the species have several varieties and show a wide range of colors, especially in red, yellow, and white shades.

The true poppy genus is Papaver, but many flowers of related genera are also called poppies. The most frequently cultivated are the Oriental poppy (P. orientale), usually bearing a large scarlet flower with a purplish black base, and the corn poppy (P. rhoeas) and its variety, the Shirley poppy. Other well-known species include the arctic Iceland poppy (P. nudicaule), the celandine poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum) of North America, and the cream cups (Platystemon californica) and California poppy, or eschscholtzia (Eschscholtzia californica), of the W United States (the latter is the state flower of California).

The Old World greater celandine (Chelidonium majus), also called swallowwart or wartweed, was formerly believed efficacious in removing warts and in restoring failing eyesight. (The lesser celandine is an unrelated plant of the buttercup family.) The orange-red sap of the bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), an early spring wildflower of E North America, was used by Native Americans as a dye and skin stain. This and many other members of the family are employed for various medicinal purposes.

Economically, the most important plant in the family is the opium poppy (P. somniferum), now widely cultivated from Europe to East Asia. The milky sap of its unripe seed pods is the source of opium and several other similar drugs, e.g., morphine, codeine, and heroin. Poppyseed, also called maw seed, is not narcotic; used as birdseed and for a flavoring or garnish in baking, it is also ground for flour. Poppy oil, derived from the seeds, is employed in cooking and illumination and in paints, varnishes, and soaps.

The poppy has been the symbol of the dead and of sleep since antiquity. The poppies of "Flanders fields" are celebrated in a poem by John McCrae and are the Memorial Day or Armistice Day (Veterans' Day in the United States) emblem of World War veterans. Poppies are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Papaverales, family Papaveraceae.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"poppy." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"poppy." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 24, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/poppy

"poppy." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved September 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/poppy

poppy

poppy1 the type of something where the showy look is not matched by real worth.

References are also made to the story of the legendary Roman king Tarquin the Proud (see Tarquinius), who is said to have demonstrated how to deal with presumption or rebellion by silently striking off the heads of a row of poppies.

From the 19th century, the scarlet poppy has been seen as emblematic of those who have died in war. In the 20th century, the poppy as a symbol has been associated particularly with the dead of the two World Wars.
Poppy Day another name for Remembrance Sunday.

See also Flanders poppy, tall poppy syndrome.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"poppy." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"poppy." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 24, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/poppy

"poppy." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved September 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/poppy

poppy

poppy Any annual or perennial plant of the genus Papaver, family Papaveraceae, or any related plant. About 100 species of the genus exist. They have bright red, orange or white flowers, often with dark centres, with four thin, overlapping petals and two thick sepals; all produce the milky sap, latex. The unripe capsules of the Asian opium poppy are used to produce the drug opium. Plants closely related to the true poppy include the California poppy and the Welsh poppy.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"poppy." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"poppy." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 24, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/poppy

"poppy." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved September 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/poppy

poppy

pop·py / ˈpäpē/ • n. a herbaceous plant (Papaver, Eschscholzia, and other genera) with showy flowers, milky sap, and rounded seed capsules. Many poppies contain alkaloids and are a source of drugs such as morphine and codeine. The poppy family (Papaveraceae) also includes the corydalis, greater celandine, and bloodroot.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"poppy." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"poppy." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 24, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/poppy-2

"poppy." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved September 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/poppy-2

poppy

poppy. Long recognized as an opiate, the seed-pods and flowers of the poppy were commonly used in Neo-Classicism as ornaments in bedrooms and funerary architecture, being associated with the twin brothers, children of Night, Sleep and Death. Poppy motifs were much used by Percier and Fontaine in Empire design, and they were common elements of Art Nouveau.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"poppy." A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"poppy." A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 24, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/poppy

"poppy." A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. . Retrieved September 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/poppy

poppy

poppy2 poppy head an ornamental top on the end of a church pew. The term is recorded from late Middle English, and although it has been suggested that the first element represents French poupée ‘baby, puppet’, or English poppet, puppet, this appears to be without foundation.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"poppy." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"poppy." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 24, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/poppy-0

"poppy." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved September 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/poppy-0

poppy

poppy OE. popæġ, papæġ, later popiġ :- *papāg, *popāg, for *pāpau — medL. *papāuum, alt. of L. papāver.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"poppy." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"poppy." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 24, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/poppy-3

"poppy." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved September 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/poppy-3

poppy

poppy See PAPAVERACEAE.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"poppy." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"poppy." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 24, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/poppy

"poppy." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Retrieved September 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/poppy

poppy

poppycrappie, crappy, flappy, gappy, happi, happy, nappy, pappy, sappy, scrappy, slap-happy, snappy, strappy, tapis, yappy, zappy •campy, scampi, vampy •harpy, okapi, serape, sharpie •raspy •Giuseppe, peppy, preppy •kelpie •kempy, tempi •Gillespie •crêpey, kepi, scrapie •creepy, sleepy, tepee, weepy •chippy, clippie, dippy, drippy, grippy, hippy, Lippi, lippy, Mississippi, nippy, slippy, snippy, tippy, trippy, whippy, Xanthippe, zippy •chickpea •crimpy, gimpy, skimpy, wimpy •crispy, wispy •turnipy • recipe • praecipe • gossipy •pipy, stripy •choppy, copy, floppy, jalopy, moppy, poppy, sloppy, soppy, stroppy •Pompey, swampy •waspie, waspy •photocopy • cowpea •dopey, Hopi, Opie, ropy, soapy, topi

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"poppy." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"poppy." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 24, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/poppy-1

"poppy." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved September 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/poppy-1