Poppies set Norfolk fields ablaze
- Credit: Archant
The fields are ablaze with colour as the poppies glow like embers in the sun.
Rivers of red are in full flood alongside the A149 coast road between Snettisham and Heacham.
The scarlet flowers stretch as far as the eye can see.
Writer Clement Scott first coined the phrase Poppyland for the coastline between Cromer and Overstrand. “Neath the blue of the sky in the green of the corn,” he wrote in the 1880s. “It is here that the regal red poppies are born!”
The description could just as easily apply to parts of the west Norfolk coast.
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Poppies are believed to have arrived in seed corn brought to our shores by neolithic farmers 5,000 years ago.
While it has so far survived the intensification of farming, many of our formerly common arable weeds like cornflowers are now extremely rare.
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One key to the poppy’s longevity could be its tiny seeds. Instead of all sprouting into life the following spring, the dust-sized grains are programmed for staggered germination – some next year, some in five, some in 20 or more years’ time.
By the Middle Ages, the flower sported a clutch of names like corn rose, thundercup, thunderflower. Superstition had it if you picked one, there’d be a storm.