Reason poppies grow on battlefields

Discussion in 'WW2 Battlefields Today' started by smdarby, Jul 2, 2017.

  1. smdarby

    smdarby Patron Patron

    Went on a nature walk in the dunes near Castricum in The Netherlands last week. In one particular small area there were lots of poppies growing. They were not growing anywhere else. The nature guide explained that this was because the soil in this spot had been dumped from other areas and poppies flourish in disturbed soil.

    Got me thinking about battlefields. All that digging of trenches and the soil being churned up by shellfire. Perfect environment for poppies. Never thought about that before.
     
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Re member

    The seeds of poppies can lie dormant for years, with all the disturbance notably of WW1 battlefields when they were 'flattened' after WW1 then there was perfect conditions for them to grow and by gum they did


    MONTY DON: Poppy appeal: How the flower's extraordinary beauty masks its unsavoury secret | Daily Mail Online
    Field poppies are triggered into germination when the soil is disturbed and they are exposed to light - which is why they are typically found in cornfields, especially those ploughed in spring, and why they grew with such a poignant presence in the shell-churned fields of World War I.

    Read more: MONTY DON: Poppy appeal: How the flower's extraordinary beauty masks its unsavoury secret | Daily Mail Online


    Its also why the French use the cornflower instead of the poppy on Nov 11th to remember, it likes the same conditions

    TD
     
    smdarby likes this.
  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I've also seen quite a few poppies around roadworks for that same reasons, disturbed earth.
     
  4. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    At work, we dug over an area to create a recess for our all weather football pitch goal furniture. This area had never seen any poppies before. Subsequently, orange poppies now come through twice a year, every year. Quite extraordinary.
     

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