Daily Archives: June 3, 2008

Another kind of Poppy

A few days ago I posted a photo of some poppies in Turkey and included the term anemone with it here. Reader J. P. Van de Griessen, of the Netherlands, informed us that he thinks that this is the “Papaver rhoeas or family of it.” I do not have much knowledge about plants, but I had noticed that the poppies in Turkey were a bit different from the ones I have seen in Israel and Jordan in the spring of the year. J. P. has a section of his blog dealing with flora. Even if you can not read the Dutch you might be able to make a suitable translation using the Google language tools.

In the past three trips to Israel, with good digital equipment, I have not seen many poppies growing. In past visits, earlier in the year, we have seen entire fields colored with them. Here is a photo of some poppies among the ruins at Jerash in Jordan.

I understand this to be the anemone. Dr. David Darom, in Beautiful Plants of the Bible, calls it the common poppy (Papaver sp.). One Wikipedia article indicates that there are more than 150 varieties of the poppy. Darom links this plant with the “lilies of the field” mentioned by Jesus.

And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. “But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! (Matthew 6:28-30)

The UBS Fauna and Flora of the Bible comments on the New Testament word krinon:

It is used by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, when he says: ‘Even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.’ Most commentators now think of the Anemone coronaria, the anemone with beautiful bright colours which is to be found on the hills of Galilee, where it would undoubtedly have been seen by the people listening to Jesus. (page 135)

Thanks, J.P. Any other help will be appreciated.

Speaking of poppies. In Turkey, another type of poppy is legally cultivated. On the outskirts of Yalvac (near Pisidian Antioch of Acts 14), I have seen cultivated fields of white poppies along the road. Under U. S. pressure, Turkey outlawed the growing of poppies in 1971. By 1974 they were allowing them to be grown under strict government control. Government factories convert the dried stems into poppy-straw concentrate (PSC) and then into morphine and codeine (See “The Poppy,” National Geographic, Feb., 1985, pp. 143-189). Here is a photo I made last year. I trust that I will not be charged with possession of a poppy photo!