Opium poppies in Martinborough

Poppies-title--slideWe’ve had a few opium poppies (Papaver Somniferum) in a flower bed for several years. They grow well and look very pretty. Unfortunately they are very good at spraying their seed and spreading. This year a dense swarm descended on part of our vegetable garden. We didn’t get around to weeding them out and then we thought we’d see what a poppy thicket would look like. Nice! At least it does for the moment – we must get rid of the plants before they fire their seed over the rest of the vegetable garden.

Poppies-and-Liz

Liz picking black currants for the freezer.

Poppy-with-bumble-bee

Bumble bees are really enjoying the poppies.

There’s a slide show with more photos here.

While it’s legal to grow opium poppies in New Zealand, it’s illegal to process them into a drug. Which does seem a little strange and overly trusting. You can’t grow marijuana plants as ornamentals, even if you say you won’t use them as a drug (yeah right). Possibly opium poppies are let of the hook because it’s much more of a hassle to turn the plant into opioid drugs. A commercial drug pusher would find it much cheaper to import heroin and other opiates.  Besides which, it’s hard to disguise large plots of brilliantly coloured flowers.

I understand the law in America is much less understanding and growing opium poppies, even for ornamental use, is a no-no.

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This entry was posted in Gardening, Martinborough, Opium poppies and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Opium poppies in Martinborough

  1. frazierf says:

    They sure are bright, pretty flowers. Watched the slideshow – lots of those pods just begging to be scored to let the sap out to make some ‘crop’ for you. The MacGibbon version of Flanders Fields.  Speaking totally out of ignorance here but I’m surprised they let opium poppies into the country. How’s that work? 

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Tab® S

  2. jmacg says:

    In NZ we can buy seed and grow but not process into a drug. I understand you can buy opium poppy seeds in the US, but you can only eat them. I added a paragraph to the blog post that discusses the legal situation.

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