Opium poppies (Papaver somniferum) have a long and complex history, with their cultivation dating back thousands of years. Dorset’s ‘pink poppies’ do well in our favourable climate and fertile soil, which is an ideal location for growing these delicate flowers. The sap extracted from the poppy seed pods is grown under license and is used for medicinal purposes, such as pain relief.
The visual spectacle of these Dorset poppy fields, with their mesmerising hues ranging from white to very pale pink, is an annual part of the county’s rural landscape. That said, the poppies are not as pink as in years gone past, though it very much depends on the time of day you view them.
Poppies? Look at the sky!
During my visit, it suddenly became apparent that the sight of the opium poppies was being pushed into second place by the sky. It really was one of the most spectacular skies I’ve ever seen when out taking photos. It was as if a painter had come along and painted some clouds.
* These Dorset poppy photos were taken via a permission visit.