The Welsh Poppy (Meconopsis cambrica) is a member of the poppy family and it belongs to the genus Meconusa. It grows in warm climates from northern Europe to southern Africa, but it prefers cool conditions. The flowers are white or pinkish red and they have five petals each with three stamens, which produce a milky sap when cut open. They grow up to 10 cm tall and their seeds weigh 1 gram each. The plant is native to Britain and Ireland, but it was introduced into many other countries including the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Welsh Poppies are not easy to grow because they require very good soil with lots of organic matter. If you don’t have these things then the plant will never reach its full potential. You need to provide them with plenty of water during dry periods so that they do not wilt under your feet.
The best time to sow them is in spring. When planting them, make sure that they are planted deep enough so that they do not touch each other. For optimum results, the seedlings should be watered every two weeks throughout the growing season.
In order to prevent wilting and browning of the leaves, you must keep them moist all year round. To ensure that they remain green and healthy, you can use a mixture of one part peat moss with four parts perlite. The containers should be filled with this mixture right up to the growing media.
You can then plant small plants in the center. When you see the first shoots appear, you can start watering them every ten days.
Welsh Poppies are popular as ornamental flowers and they look great when grown near a white-washed wall. They can attract bees and other insects and they are very easy to grow if you take good care of them. The flowers are used in salads.
The seeds are known to have been used as a substitute for opium. It has also been used to treat lung conditions and coughs in traditional medicine, but no evidence exists to prove these claims.
In the following video you can see how the Welsh Poppy grows from a tiny little flower into a big red flower. It is amazing how quickly this happens and how large the flowers can get in no time at all. The video also shows a variety of different types of poppies and how they all look.
All about the welsh poppy plants
The first part of the title is very straightforward because it is a plant that is very common in Britain and many people have it in their gardens or in pots. The second part of the title “Beauty in the eye of the beholder” is a bit more complex. It is all about personal choice and how people can take different views on the same subject.
For example, if you asked ten people which is the most beautiful flower, you might get ten different answers. Some people might say the rose, others might say daffodil, some people might say lavender and so on and so forth. The point is, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
You can also take this further by asking the question “Is this true of all things?”
And you might get answers such as, “Everything is relative”, “It’s a pointless question”, “What is beautiful to one person can be ugly to another”, and so on and so forth. And you would be right on all counts.
At this point, some of you will be scratching your heads and wondering what the hell any of this has to do with the welsh poppy. Well, everything and nothing. The welsh poppy is a flower that can be considered beautiful by some people and less so by others.
It’s all a matter of opinion.
However, I would ask you this; is there such a thing as objective beauty?
Is there something in the genetic make-up of the flower that can be considered more beautiful than something else? Or is beauty simply a matter of personal opinion and taste?
If you think about this question, then you will see that it applies to many other things in life. Politics, music, art, food, drink, and many other things that people argue over whether they are good or bad, right or wrong, etc.
It also makes me think about the nature of humans in general. We are a strange species because we create all these perceptions, ideas, thoughts and beliefs in our minds but we can’t answer simple questions about them. We can’t even agree on simple questions!
I heard a story once about two philosophers walking along a beach and they see a starfish stranded in the tide. The first philosopher steps on it and kills it. The other philosopher berates him for killing a feeling creature that can feel pain.
They continue walking and minutes later they see a bird with a broken wing and they can’t agree if whether it would be kinder to kill the bird or to let it suffer until nature takes its course.
So the question is not only is beauty in the eye of the beholder, but all of life is too.
Is it better to be alive but in pain or not alive at all? Does the ability to experience life outweigh the pain of living?
These are very difficult questions and I’m not going to try and answer them here.
And this is why some people think philosophy is a bunch of “bullsh*t”. To them it is. So if you’re one of those people who thinks philosophy is bullsh*t, then fair enough.
I couldn’t agree with you more.
However, if you’re still reading this then perhaps you might be a little more open to the ideas of philosophy and that’s good. Because the world could always do with a few more thinkers.
Always remember though, even the best of philosophers can’t answer the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything!
A. The Cephalopods
The next group of Aliens you encounter are from the planet Galapagos (Or at least that’s what they call it. It’s the only name you have to refer to it). You meet their ambassador as soon as you land on their planet.
You’re not quite sure what to expect but when you see him you realise how much you’ve been assuming that all aliens would look like humans in funny suits. This one is completely different from humans in almost every way you can think of. He walks on six legs, has no arms and two eyes up on stalks that point in different directions.
You get the impression he could look at two different places at the same time. His skin colours vary from individual to individual but the Ambassador is pale purple which makes the blood spots quite noticeable.
The ambassador introduces himself as L’ron and states that he is the Galapagians’ representative to this alliance as well as their primary explorers. Their military is primarily concerned with defence but their explorers are always looking for new lands, resources and races to integrate into the alliance.
You go through the usual diplomatic courtesies and then get to business. He says that he thinks that an alliance would be beneficial to both parties. You cautiously agree and ask if they have any specific requests.
He says that the Galapagians don’t usually require anything but states that their fleet is on its way to another promising system but they are a few ships short and could use your assistance.
You agree but ask what the mission is and where it is. He tells you that the mission is classified for now but says that you’ll be informed of the details once you’re aboard your ship with the rest of your fleet. You’re just about to voice your concerns when you make another surprising realization.
You don’t have any.
The thought of going into battle without any prior knowledge of the situation doesn’t bother you in the slightest, in fact the very idea feels alien to you. You accept his terms without complaint or even much hesitation. This makes the ambassador slightly anxious as if he was expecting more out of you.
He quickly hides his unease and tries to rationalize it in his mind.
“Perhaps I intimidated him with my presence” He thinks to himself.
You part ways for the time being and make your way back to your ship where you meet up with the rest of your fleet, all of whom are eager to hear about what you talked about with the Galapagians. You share the general details and reassure them that you didn’t give away anything important or make any rash promises.
Your fleet are all happy to hear it and you’re just as pleased. You have a mission that you don’t know any details of, in an alliance with a race of aliens that you also know very little about but you don’t really care because everything seems perfectly normal about the whole situation. Your mind is completely at ease, completely calm.
Soon you and your fleet set off to meet up with the Galapagos’ fleet.
When you arrive, you are certainly greeted by a very large fleet. Several ships fly over to yours and your fleet is soon boarded by a few of the Galapagians. You see the ambassador amongst them and is pleased to see you’ve come.
The boarding process is soon over and your ships set off again, heading to your unknown destination.
During this time, you talk more with the Galapagians aboard your ship. You still don’t learn much but again, none of this concerns you. In fact you feel a little detached from the situation.
Your advisors can see that something is up with you and begin to panic once more but again, this doesn’t concern you and the feeling soon passes.
Eventually you arrive at your destination. You stand on the bridge of your ship with your fleet admiral and watch as the view screen changes it’s display.
Instead of showing empty space, it now displays a system with eight planets, many of which have moons. Your sensors begin scanning the area immediately and give you basic details of every world.
The ambassador comes onto the bridge at this point, he is clearly excited by the discovery and you feel a little more attached to it because it’s his. His enthusiasm soon dies down though when the full scans come back. Three of the planets are without oxygen and two of those three are also without liquid water so there are probably no lifeforms on those worlds at all.
The other five are seemingly ordinary with at least one continent on each and a population of humans would be able to live on all of them.
“So we have eight potential new worlds for us to use” The ambassador says, trying to keep enthusiasm in his voice “The three without oxygen are probably not worth our time but the others might have some worth, we can send survey ships of course to look for anything of worth”.
The rest of your fleet soon arrives in the system and you all wait there for a while while survey ships are sent to each planet, the whole process takes about a month.
You go onto one of the ships to see what’s happening for yourself. You watch as the ship moves slowly into orbit above the planet, deploying small probes that scan the planet in much more detail.
Eventually the captain of the ship turns to you all and gives his report.
We have completed our initial scans sir, the planet has no obvious threats to us and we have found a few potential settlements and several locations for a base of some sort, would you like us to send down probes or landing craft?”
The captain seems confident in the ship’s ability to defend itself against any potential attacks but you wonder if the alien creatures will even come if they do realize the ship is there. You decide to risk it.
“Send a landing craft down with probes, if anything tries to attack then the ship can defend itself” You say.
You watch as the probes are deployed and see a live image of the planet appearing on one of the consoles, it’s coastline and mountains are visible from space and as the probes get closer you see rivers and forests too. It looks like an interesting world. The probes begin to move over land masses and you quickly find that most of them are actually the same continent.
“The probes are over the same continent, we’ll probably have to find somewhere on that landmass for a base if we want to control the entire planet” The captain says.
You look closely at the screen and then notice something which makes your job a lot easier.
That island, the one near the coast, can we get a probe over there?”
You point out.
The captain moves one himself and zooms in on an island just off from the mainland.
Sources & references used in this article:
The Genus Meconopsis. Blue Poppies and their relatives. 2014. by D Prain – Annals of Botany, 1906 – Oxford University Press
Contact dermatitis from Welsh poppy [Meconopsis cambrica (L.) Vig.] by JW Kadereit – Systematic Botany, 2016 – BioOne
Himalayan-Tibetan plateau uplift drives divergence of polyploid poppies: Meconopsis Viguier (Papaveraceae) by E Paulsen, GI Strauss – Contact dermatitis, 2010 – Wiley Online Library
A New Infrageneric Classification of Meconopsis (Papaveraceae) Based on a Well-Supported Molecular Phylogeny by H Xie, JE Ash, CC Linde, S Cunningham, A Nicotra – PloS One, 2014 – journals.plos.org
Molecular phylogeny of Asian Meconopsis based on nuclear ribosomal and chloroplast DNA sequence data by W Xiao, BB Simpson – Systematic Botany, 2017 – ingentaconnect.com