Papaver rhoeas

(Toledo, OH) It always amazes me when I see folks refer to the common red poppy (Papaver rhoeas) as a "weed." I went outdoors this morning to cut the grass and one of these beautiful flowers had bloomed overnight. The sun passing through the petals of this perennial flower produced a brilliant red flame-like effect, and I doubt that a "weed" could bring such beauty to the world.

The term "weed" is of course quite subjective, and I have any number of flowering plants in my gardens toward which other gardeners might turn up their noses. Yet the red poppies in my yard bring me a great deal of pleasure, and anyone who objects to the simple beauty of the red poppy likely also has some interpersonal issues.

The red poppy also symbolized the specter of death in European battlefields during World War I. While this might be an odd time to reference term life insurance, I am doing so anyways, as death is unpredictable, unlike the predictable return of the red poppy each year.


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