Oriental poppies

“Twirling Skirts”

Those blousy ladies are at it again – dancing in our garden. But I know it won’t last long. (More photos below.)

I blogged about them once before: how in early summer the Oriental poppies (Papaver orientale) come to life, all decked out in their colourful, voluminous skirts, kicking up their heels in an all-too-brief fling.

You have to be quick to catch them, because before you know it, their petals will drop, their stems will topple over, and their flowers will be replaced by conical seed heads.

In the time we’ve lived here, our Oriental poppies have changed. They all used to be a dense, deep crimson, but over the past few years most of the flowers springing up in the patch have been orangey-red, with shorter, less dominant purplish stamens. I’m not sure why; perhaps the original plants were hybrids and they’ve reverted to their wild traits, or maybe it’s a result of the soil characteristics.

This year there seems to be just a single hold-out, with deep crimson skirts and long, midnight blue stamens. I loved the old crimson ladies, but no matter – these orangey-red newcomers are beautiful too.

But oh so brief!

More photos of the dancing ladies – click on any image to see larger view and carousel format.


About Laurie MacBride, Eye on Environment

Photographer focused on nature and nautical on the BC coast

9 responses »

  1. Martin Shone says:

    Wonderful poppies. I came across a field full during a walk the other day and managed to get some macro shots – they’ll be going on my photo blog at some point 🙂

  2. Adam Allegro says:

    Beautiful captures!! They are so pretty and vivid! Lovely work Laurie.

  3. Sherry Galey says:

    Exquisite photos of poppies, Laurie. Love how you describe their dance!

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