It might be called the common red poppy, but it is anything but common in the minds and hearts of the Belgian people. The red poppy is the national flower of Belgium and has been for some time. Bright and cheerful, the hopeful face of the red poppy could easily symbolize the determination and outgoing personalities of these fine people.
The Red Poppy of Belgium
The red poppy is considered one of the easiest wildflowers to grow, but that doesn’t make it any less significant as the state flower of Belgium. In fact, its simplicity is a true testament to the country. Belgium is a smaller country in Europe that has seen its rises and falls through the decades. A bright, happy spot in a field or meadow can bring a smile to the faces of those who have rebuilt their country after a long period of trouble in the mid-century.
It is especially telling of the power of the red poppy that it is selected as the national flower of a country that creates and exports some of the most famous horticulture flowers in the world. The Belgium horticulture industry is worth over $1.6 billion. It is the world’s largest producer of azaleas and begonias. With the beauty of cultured flowers making it famous the world over, it is the humble, yet stunning red poppy that was selected as the national flower of Belgium.
Medical Benefits of Red Poppies
Red poppies have been used in Belgian a mild pain reliever for many generations. The red poppy grows in what might be considered wasteland, yet can relieve pain and suffering. The red poppy was commonly used for the ailments of children and the elderly as well as to relieve nervous activity. Red poppies were also a common ailment for troublesome coughs. Today, the oil of the red poppy petals is still sought out in certain European countries.
Growing Red Poppies
Red poppies grow easily in comparison to many wildflowers. The red poppies are annuals that grow from seed. Sow the seeds in sandy soil and do not cover as the red poppy seeds need light to germinate. The red poppies will bloom from early spring until the first frost. They will also reseed from one season to the next.