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Poppies & cornflower

A Poppy is a flowering plant in the subfamily Papaveroideae of the family Papaveraceae. Poppies are herbaceous plants, often grown for their colourful flowers. One species of poppy, Papaver somniferum produces edible seeds, and is also the source of the crude drug opium which contains powerful medicinal alkaloids such as morphine and has been used since ancient times as an analgesic and narcotic medicinal and recreational drugs. Following the trench warfare which took place in the poppy fields of Flanders, during the 1st World War, red poppies have become a symbol of remembrance of soldiers who have died during wartime.

 

Centaurea cyanus, commonly known as cornflower, bachelor's button, bluebottle, boutonniere flower, hurtsickle or cyani flower, is an annual flowering plant in the family Asteraceae, native to Europe. "Cornflower" is also used for chicory, and a few other Centaurea species; to distinguish C. cyanus from these it is sometimes called common cornflower. It may also be referred to as basketflower, though the term also refers to the Plectocephalus group of Centaurea, which is probably a distinct genus. It is an annual plant growing to 16-35 inches tall, with grey-green branched stems. The leaves are lanceolate, 1–4 cm long. The flowers are most commonly an intense blue colour, produced in flowerheads (capitula) 1.5–3 cm diameter, with a ring of a few large, spreading ray florets surrounding a central cluster of disc florets. The blue pigment is protocyanin, which in roses is red. In the past it often grew as a weed in crop fields, hence its name (fields growing grains such as wheat, barley, rye, or oats are sometimes known as corn fields in the UK). It is now endangered in its native habitat by agricultural intensification, particularly over-use of herbicides, destroying its habitat; in the United Kingdom it has declined from 264 sites to just 3 sites in the last 50 years. In reaction to this, the conservation charity Plantlife named it as one of 101 species it would actively work to bring 'Back from the Brink'. It is also, however, through introduction as an ornamental plant in gardens and a seed contaminant in crop seeds, now naturalised in many other parts of the world, including North America and parts of Australia.

 

Flickr no longer accepts my image files when they're large. Wasted about two hours total - an hour this morning trying with the original 6.8mb file and an hour now failing to upload same pic reduced to a 2.7mb file. This flat, tiny and optimized-to-bits 512kb image uploaded immediately. Every upload past few months is like a roar of anger at flickr. Other users state they have no problems and that I should change my ISP (same provider used for years without problems). Fail/time out/retry fail/time out/retry.

The image is tiny. It's not bad. It just isn't the original.

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Taken on August 21, 2014