Corn Poppies

I always have lots of volunteer corn poppies, Papaver rhoeas (see
http://personal.ecu.edu/wuenschk/jpg/Poppies03.jpg ) on my lot. Some are already up now (they sprout in the fall and bloom in the spring here in eastern North Carolina). I have often wondered why they are called "corn poppies." This summer I put old corn stalks in some of the walkways in my garden, and that is exactly where the first volunteer corn poppies have now sprouted. I wonder if that is why they call them corn poppies, because old corn stalks provide a good cover for the poppy seeds until it is time for them to sprout.
Karl W.
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Well, those flowers got the name "corn poppies" in England, where corn is a generic name for grain (usually wheat) but almost never for "corn", which they call maize - so I'm guessing that your theory is not a very sound one. But corn poppies preferentially seed themselves on disturbed ground, where they germinate very well - and since vegetable gardens are often weeded in the fall and wheat fields are usually plowed in the fall as preparation for either fall or spring seeding, the poppies are very happy to sprout in those environments.

now
old
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No, it is a European term. "Corn" in Europe meant grain rather than American corn. The poppies were common in grain fields. They are also called "field poppies."
BTW, because of modern intensive farming methods, corn poppies are rare in European fields.
J. Del Col
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