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Seed Germination: Poppy seeds that we eat

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perenniallyme
Jamaica Plain, MA
(Zone 6a)

January 18, 2009
3:41 PM

Post #6019574

Just curious - Does anyone know what kind of poppy seeds we eat ? - the ones on bagels and in poppyseed cake and such. And has anyone tried to germinate them?
joannabanana
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

January 18, 2009
4:12 PM

Post #6019713

I was wondering the same. My friend had given me a package of Poppy Bread Seed, Papaver somniferum. Richters Herb Catalog also lists Papaver rhoeas.

http://www.richters.com

perenniallyme
Jamaica Plain, MA
(Zone 6a)

January 18, 2009
4:25 PM

Post #6019761

Thanks Joanna! Just went to your link. It says of papaver rhoeas "seeds are delectable on cookies, breads, rolls...colorful garden annual." Also says easy germination. Has anyone tried to germinate these when purchased from sources for food? Will check PlantFiles or elsewhere to see what they look like.
perenniallyme
Jamaica Plain, MA
(Zone 6a)

January 18, 2009
4:32 PM

Post #6019792

Plantfiles says also called corn poppy, field poppy, flanders poppy, shirley poppy. 12-18" and appears to come in numerous colors.
scicciarella
Mona in Metcalfe, ON
(Zone 5a)

February 2, 2009
5:32 PM

Post #6083234

poppy seeds that come on bagels and cakes and bread will not germinate they have been cooked
perenniallyme
Jamaica Plain, MA
(Zone 6a)

February 2, 2009
5:40 PM

Post #6083272

I was asking about the ones that you buy to use in cooking (before they're cooked!).
scicciarella
Mona in Metcalfe, ON
(Zone 5a)

February 2, 2009
5:42 PM

Post #6083278

they are probably treated with ultra violet so they are safe for consumption
perenniallyme
Jamaica Plain, MA
(Zone 6a)

February 2, 2009
5:52 PM

Post #6083316

I guess the only way to find out is to try to sprout them. Guess I'll have to add that to my to do list, since no one has come forward with a reported attempt.
scicciarella
Mona in Metcalfe, ON
(Zone 5a)

February 2, 2009
5:54 PM

Post #6083323

ok well poppy seeds are better started where they are to grow I clean as area spritz with water top sow just lightly pat the seeds to the soil and I use a plastic dome so the birds do not eat the seeds check everyday spritzing with water if soil is not moist and wait should be up in three to four weeks wait till soil warms up
perenniallyme
Jamaica Plain, MA
(Zone 6a)

February 2, 2009
6:15 PM

Post #6083422

Thanks. I'll post results when I try.
scicciarella
Mona in Metcalfe, ON
(Zone 5a)

February 2, 2009
6:30 PM

Post #6083472

I use to love going to richters it was only a 40 minute drive from where i use to live amazing place
joannabanana
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

February 2, 2009
9:31 PM

Post #6084225

Boy, this thread got a little confusing :)

I think Perenniallyme & I were on the same thought. Wanting to seed/germinate a specific type of poppy that grow, flower and will produce seedheads/seeds that are suitable for using in baking. Although all poppies produce seeds, not all types are suitable for eating for various reasons. If you look at the Richter's catalog, they do a great job of tagging all their seeds with icons...the fork & knife indicating specific plant uses.

Anyways it was an interesting discussion.
perenniallyme
Jamaica Plain, MA
(Zone 6a)

February 2, 2009
10:19 PM

Post #6084429

Thanks Joanna. I was actually more interested in finding out what kind of flowers those seeds would produce. I definitely don't have room to grow enough poppy seeds for eating - It's getting to where I have to decide what to remove from my garden in order to plant something else - at least in the sunny area.
joannabanana
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

February 2, 2009
10:45 PM

Post #6084573

Looks like most are full dble blooms
JonnaSudenius

(Zone 6b)

February 3, 2009
10:17 AM

Post #6086510

It are the seeds of Papaver somniferum (opium poppy) that is mostly used. Altough it's legal food, you may react positive if you've eaten it and must undergo a drugstest.
perenniallyme
Jamaica Plain, MA
(Zone 6a)

February 3, 2009
2:59 PM

Post #6087180

Thanks Jonna. No wonder I like poppyseed cake and poppyseed filling in pastries so much! And thankfully I've never had to undergo a drug test.
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


February 4, 2009
2:51 AM

Post #6090429

Any Papaver somniferum, Opium poppy makes copious amounts of edible seeds... the type one eats in poppyseed muffins, on bread, etc. However, for the best seeds, one needs to grown somniferum poppies that are specifically grown for the culinary seeds. Look for seeds that are listed as 'bread seed'. Hungarian Bread Seed is one variety. The best culinary poppy seed are a blue-gray color.
scicciarella
Mona in Metcalfe, ON
(Zone 5a)

February 4, 2009
9:32 PM

Post #6093489

my girlfriend works for corrections canada and she was on a poppy seed kick a few years ago and when she had her annual testing it came back positive thank god that she had 15 years on the job and since the amount was so low her boss asked her what she had been up to since she had been informed about the test and then it hit her that it must have been all the poppy seed so a retest in 30 days was ordered and no more poppy seeds for her lol hahhaha
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


February 19, 2009
10:19 PM

Post #6162084

I was told some time ago that more sophisticated drug testing does not pick up the usual consumption of culinary poppy seed... such as on bread as a garnish or an occasional poppy seed muffin. It's too bad, if that is not the case. Good culinary seed has a wonderful flavor and adds much toasted onto a loaf of bread during baking.
JonnaSudenius

(Zone 6b)

February 19, 2009
10:53 PM

Post #6162213

Hope you are right informed. On the other hand: who will have to undergo a drugstest? Not the average gardener
scicciarella
Mona in Metcalfe, ON
(Zone 5a)

February 20, 2009
12:48 AM

Post #6162695

in small quantity that is right but she was on a kick so everything she was eating was covered in them lol just to many levels high enough to be a concern
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


February 20, 2009
4:21 AM

Post #6163597

It's funny how we can compartmentalize our view of a common object. Over the years, on holidays, I've made large braided loaves of egg bread. I usually baste the tops with egg and sprinkle seeds on them... poppy seed or sesame. One year, I looked all over for my shaker of poppy seed, but couldn't find it. Just as I was ready to opt for sesame, I realized that I had little bags of poppy seeds in seed planting totes... more than I would ever plant. They worked just fine.
scicciarella
Mona in Metcalfe, ON
(Zone 5a)

February 20, 2009
12:55 PM

Post #6164241

all they are is perennial poppy seeds mind you the store ones are treated with believe it or not radiation to clean them lol so they will not mold in humid kitchens, but in the olden days they just used what they had collected seeds and they work great

I love to add a few violas to my salands in summer as a decoration I have been asked again and again if they can be eaten and the answer is yes all violas are good to eat the taste is a little bitter but will not hurt anyone.
lily_bud
Indianapolis, IN
(Zone 5b)

February 22, 2009
6:14 AM

Post #6172435

My DexH has experimented with growing poppy seeds from commercial spice companies for years. He plants the seeds right out of the bottle into the garden.

McCormick poppy seeds produce single white flowers. He has grown seeds from Badia, a spice company found in the Hispanic food aisle in the grocery, and seeds from an Israeli spice company. Both produced single purple flowers. He tried Durkee seeds years ago, and got flowers from one of 2 bottles, but doesn't remember what they looked like.

It is important to use fresh seed (not the bottle of poppy seeds that has been in the back of your spice rack for the last 7 years.) It is a bad sign if the seeds are clumped up in the jar. He is going to send me pictures of the poppies he has grown from culinary seed.



lily_bud
Indianapolis, IN
(Zone 5b)

February 22, 2009
6:37 AM

Post #6172472

This is a poppy grown from what Bob believes is the Badia brand of poppy seeds. (The picture is taken with his phone, so the quality isn't great.)

Thumbnail by lily_bud
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


February 22, 2009
7:07 AM

Post #6172515

In my experience, the best culinary Papaver somniferum seed comes from the pale lavender poppies with a darker center. Whatever the color of the flower, look for the gray-blue seeds. They are the tastiest.
perenniallyme
Jamaica Plain, MA
(Zone 6a)

February 22, 2009
3:07 PM

Post #6173165

Thanks for the info lily_bud. That's very interesting - and sounds like a cheap source for some lovely flowers. Think I'll try out the poppy seeds sold loose by my local food co-op and see what they produce.
scicciarella
Mona in Metcalfe, ON
(Zone 5a)

February 22, 2009
4:12 PM

Post #6173499

yes those are all perennial poppies they have the gray blue larger seeds we see on bagels and in cakes etc... I grow all kinds of them

a couple of years ago when I lived in toronto I was growing all kinds in the back yard and it was never a problem but one year I decided to grow them along the driveway since nothing ever survived it two feet wide and 40 feet long of dry dry dirt well I started them and they did great the next summer when they went into bloom I had the police at my house asking what I was doing with so many opium poppies I just gave them a stupid look of why dont you like my flowers and showed them around the property he kept taking notes and everything then I showed him the awards that I had won and picture of my property in the calender that he recognized as the one in his kitchen and he then proceeded to caution me about not letting anyone take the raw heads since they are the one to produce the drug I promised I would carefully remove and dispose of the heads at least the ones in the front so nobody would get them lol

he explained that the police do not usually bother gardeners but that it is not legal to grow opium poppies in canada lol and since I had over what he figured was 500 blooms on that day lol it could be considered a gow up for opium

everyone I know has them but I did go a little over board lol I had every color of perennial poppies I could get from stores, ebay, trade or what ever even collected from public gardens DH hates it when I scam seeds out of just about everywhere if it private property I will ring the bell and ask permission he just hate that hahahah I just tell people what a nice garden they have and they are more than happy to share a few seeds

mona
perenniallyme
Jamaica Plain, MA
(Zone 6a)

February 22, 2009
4:44 PM

Post #6173633

That's a funny story Mona. You'd think the police would have something better to do than worry about gardeners growing opium poppies in their yards.
scicciarella
Mona in Metcalfe, ON
(Zone 5a)

February 22, 2009
5:25 PM

Post #6173836

well it seemed that a neighbor two doors down that was causing problems for everyone in the area had called to complain that I was running a drup lab with all these lol poppies that is why I invited the officers in and allowed them to walk around the house after seeing all the magazines and arts and crafts and flats pot seeds and everything else they knew that I was just a crazy gardener lol hahahha
perenniallyme
Jamaica Plain, MA
(Zone 6a)

February 22, 2009
6:15 PM

Post #6174071

There's always a neighbor like that everywhere. I finally got rid of the crazy angry alcoholic guy next door (he moved, that is - though I would have happily killed him) who used to do things like scratch people's cars and throw trash cans on top of my flowers and worse, only to finally discover who the neighborhood plant thief is, and it's someone I know who was even in our community garden down the street until she was kicked out last year for not participating in meetings and cleanup days. I had even given her plants, but still, on a regular basis, plants disappear from my front yard and the yards of my neighbors.
JonnaSudenius

(Zone 6b)

February 22, 2009
9:24 PM

Post #6174776

Making opium out of Opium poppies is not easy, it's a very complicated chemical process, so every well thinking person must now that we gardeners only grow them for fun. My neighbour is a policeman, but he never makes problems, he knows why I'm growing Poppies. Well, I must say it is allowed here in Belgium to grow these.
I am Dutch, and in the Netherlands one is even allowed to grow Cannabis. 3 Plants, just for own use. Here in Belgium it's forbidden. Maybe I will try it once, not for using it, but just to see what kind of plant it is. I doubt anyone here will recognize it.

A lot of my (wild) Poppies look like the Badia. I always try to collect as much seeds as I can. What I don't use myself, I feed the birds, they like it.
scicciarella
Mona in Metcalfe, ON
(Zone 5a)

February 23, 2009
1:27 AM

Post #6176009

actually it is an easy process of just thin slicing the poppy head right after the petals fall off on an angle using a rasor blade its done in the early morning as the day heats up the head then secreets liquid to close the cuts which is the crystal for of the drug, pure opiate then it has to be cut with other products down to about 20 per cent pure and there it is, I found all the info on the net have never tried and do not intend to,

but for your information when removing head that are not completely dry use gloves since if the liquid gets on your skin it is absorbed and you can get a nasty buss and later a major head ache enough of it and it can become dangerous.
JonnaSudenius

(Zone 6b)

February 23, 2009
5:28 PM

Post #6178598

Scicciarella, I didn't know that. I know that some people do it the way you describe it, but the effects are very week comparising real opium. Well, at least that is what I thought.
perenniallyme
Jamaica Plain, MA
(Zone 6a)

February 23, 2009
5:35 PM

Post #6178638

Geez. You guys sure seem to know a lot about making opium. Let's hope big brother isn't watching!
JonnaSudenius

(Zone 6b)

February 23, 2009
6:22 PM

Post #6178862

Having the knowledge doesn't mean I practice it. No way, I don't need that kind of stimulation. Gardening makes me happy enough.
perenniallyme
Jamaica Plain, MA
(Zone 6a)

February 23, 2009
6:40 PM

Post #6178948

(hope you know I was just kidding around)
JonnaSudenius

(Zone 6b)

February 23, 2009
6:50 PM

Post #6178989

I know, but wasn't sure everyone understood that.
snapple45
Holland, OH
(Zone 5b)

February 23, 2009
6:50 PM

Post #6178992

This has all been very informative. I have a packet of Papaver somniforum seeds sitting right here waiting for me to get off my duff and get them in the garden. I purchased them from eBay. I've been waiting to grow them for over 25 years, but had to wait until the town Police Chief, who's back yard shared a fence with my garden, moved out! The new folks who have moved in are nice, but they don't know an oak tree from a lilac bush. They'll be clueless. Finally, I get to see these plants up close and personal.
JonnaSudenius

(Zone 6b)

February 23, 2009
6:52 PM

Post #6179001

Some Americans think that European people, especially the Dutch ones, approve the use of all kind of drugs.
scicciarella
Mona in Metcalfe, ON
(Zone 5a)

February 23, 2009
7:02 PM

Post #6179033

I have never even tried it, the info is on the web I found it one day looking for plants of natural medicinal properties also found info on all kinds of plants that can be smoked and others that the oil have medicinal properties
I grow all kinds of plants for tea and other things but I do not do anything that is not leagal where I live

mona
perenniallyme
Jamaica Plain, MA
(Zone 6a)

February 23, 2009
8:24 PM

Post #6179393

snapple, did you really think your neighbor would have arrested you for growing poppies?
oh yeah, Jonna, we've heard all about you Dutch folks!
And now that we've had full declarations of non-use, so big brother can turn his piercing eyes somewhere else, I have to admit that I did try it just once, eons ago in the "hippie" days, when I was young and foolish and curious and brave, and it felt so fabulous that at least I was smart enough to know I'd better never do it again or I'd probably be hooked, and that wouldn't be so fabulous. But I do love poppyseed cake and poppyseed danish, and will not stop eating those.
JonnaSudenius

(Zone 6b)

February 23, 2009
10:07 PM

Post #6179829

Perenniallyme, just like you I must admit I tried some things in my 'hippie' time. Not the poppies, too heavy, but Marijuana.
Now I get my kick out of the garden
scicciarella
Mona in Metcalfe, ON
(Zone 5a)

February 23, 2009
10:13 PM

Post #6179855

its called getting high on fresh air and life a little water with that and look out you will find the energie to work all day from dawn till dusk

perenniallyme
Jamaica Plain, MA
(Zone 6a)

February 23, 2009
10:33 PM

Post #6179961

I'll have to say I'm in sync with you guys on the mid-life (for me anyway) gardening high.
snapple45
Holland, OH
(Zone 5b)

February 23, 2009
11:17 PM

Post #6180191

Yes, the Police Chief would have made an issue out of my growing opium poppies. He was "that" kind of a guy - Itching to enforce the law at every opportunity. I was the class nerd. Nose stuck in book a lot. The only reason I didn't have a pocket protector was because I was a girl. I never tried anything. Too chicken.
scicciarella
Mona in Metcalfe, ON
(Zone 5a)

February 23, 2009
11:35 PM

Post #6180273

I know the feeling I always got picked on at test or exam day because the other kids knew that I would get the highest mark in the class lol little did they know that I worked evening shift at a factory and had no time to study, I use to sleep in class a lot and they could not figure out why the teacher would let me, the teachers knew my dad was sick and I had to work to help support the family but my grade I recieved honestly.

mona
perenniallyme
Jamaica Plain, MA
(Zone 6a)

February 24, 2009
12:02 AM

Post #6180383

Is it really illegal to grow a few "opium" poppies in your garden? snapple, you must mean that your police chief was on a power trip and wanted control over as many people as possible.
snapple45
Holland, OH
(Zone 5b)

February 24, 2009
12:16 AM

Post #6180436

Oh he was on a power trip allright. (still is). It's quite obvious. This is a small town. There was no way I was going to give him a cause. There's lots of great stuff to grow that isn't controversial so I didn't feel deprived. Now, however he's no where near my privacy fenced back yard and I can finally give the poppies a try. If I'm successful I'll post some pics. I spread them on top of the snow this afternoon. We have a thaw with rain coming followed by another freeze so that should break dormancy. I'm quite intrigued.
scicciarella
Mona in Metcalfe, ON
(Zone 5a)

February 24, 2009
12:34 AM

Post #6180506

you can grow annual poppies or what they call artic poppies not as nice smaller blooms and by the way he can not stop you from growing any poppy that you can buy at your local garden center or that you can buy the seeds locally just keep the tags,packages, and reciepts, if you dead head as soon as the petals fall he can do nothing he has to find evidance that you are bleeding the heads for the liquide, so honey plant away it is all legal till the process is started to make it not legal

and if he is older he probably wont even know what they are

mona
perenniallyme
Jamaica Plain, MA
(Zone 6a)

February 24, 2009
1:02 AM

Post #6180641

You got me curious. Found this at erowid.org:

Opium Poppy
Legal Status
by Erowid
U.S. FEDERAL LAW #
Caution : All legal information should be verified through other sources. [see below] U.S. FEDERAL LEGAL SUMMARY
Papaver somniferum
REGULATED Yes
STATUS Scheduled
SCHEDULE Schedule II
CLASSIFICATION Narcotic

Opium poppies are specifically scheduled under U.S. Law. The Controlled Substances Act, Schedule II, lists "Opium poppy and poppy straw" as well as "Concentrate of poppy straw (the crude extract of poppy straw in either liquid, solid or powder form which contains the phenanthrene alkaloids of the opium poppy)". Opium and its constituent chemicals are listed in Schedule II and some derivatives (such as Heroin) are listed in Schedule I.

There is some confusion in the law, however, because opium-producing poppies are widely grown around the US and Canada and the opium poppy seeds are omnipresent in cooking, breads, and deserts. The grey-blue poppy seeds sold in virtually every grocery store in the US contain low levels of opiates (not psychoactive at amounts used in cooking). Poppy pods are widely used in dry flower arrangements.

Law enforcement in the US is somewhat inconsistent about these plants, although there are continual attempts to try to stop them from being sold or grown. If poppies are grown as sources for opiates, there is no question that it violates the CSA. If poppies are purely grown for ornamental purposes, their legal position is somewhat less clear cut, since they are so widely grown and available.


snapple45
Holland, OH
(Zone 5b)

February 24, 2009
1:19 AM

Post #6180709

Ah Ha! Grow 'em. Enjoy 'em. Dry a couple of seed heads for next years crop, then into the compost they go. I thank you all. ;)

I'm really going to enjoy this now.
scicciarella
Mona in Metcalfe, ON
(Zone 5a)

February 24, 2009
1:37 PM

Post #6182322

told you it is only not legal if you are doing the process of harvesting the sap
growing is legal, I allow the heads to dry on the plant till the little top hat starts to open and then I cut the stem at the bottom carefully not to dump out the seeds I finish drying it indoors in a flower vase when the hat is totally dry I shake out the seeds then allow to dry one more week and shake the head again, I keep some seeds for replanting and some for cooking and the stems with head are used when me and the girls paint they look nice spray painted and kept in a vase it makes a dry arrangement that never looks tired since it is replaced every year.

mona
snapple45
Holland, OH
(Zone 5b)

February 24, 2009
2:41 PM

Post #6182638

mona - You are one very clever and resourceful person.

Mary
scicciarella
Mona in Metcalfe, ON
(Zone 5a)

February 24, 2009
3:44 PM

Post #6182984

my DH cousin married a policeman so if I cant find the info on the web I ask him
now do remember if you start planting acres of them you had better have a business to sell the plants or some other reason like a contract to sell the seeds to a food company

hahahah

mona
snapple45
Holland, OH
(Zone 5b)

February 24, 2009
4:01 PM

Post #6183069

Not gonna happen! I'm just looking for a poppy patch. I've got Turkish red and Persian white. I mixed the seeds and scattered them on the snow yesterday in two sunny spots in the garden in between some LA and Asiatic lilies. Should keep things colofrul for most of the summer, I Hope. If I get arrested for anything it would likely be for "failure to weed".

Mary
scicciarella
Mona in Metcalfe, ON
(Zone 5a)

February 25, 2009
3:37 AM

Post #6186643

lol that is funny failing to weed you would feel right at home over my way since I do not have any lawn I nicely cut the weeds and it looks nice and green but not a blade of grass in the bunch hahahha looks amazing dark green all summer the neighbor asked me how I kept my grass so green since his was yellow it made me laugh since when I explained he said that is it no more spending money to fix the grass for him
snapple45
Holland, OH
(Zone 5b)

February 25, 2009
2:47 PM

Post #6188037

Well, now look what you've done! Started an ecologically responsible trend!
scicciarella
Mona in Metcalfe, ON
(Zone 5a)

February 25, 2009
5:39 PM

Post #6188729

lol if its green I love it anything better than snow
Sparisi1122
Gloucester, MA

September 4, 2010
11:44 PM

Post #8081083

scicciarella wrote:actually it is an easy process of just thin slicing the poppy head right after the petals fall off on an angle using a rasor blade its done in the early morning as the day heats up the head then secreets liquid to close the cuts which is the crystal for of the drug, pure opiate then it has to be cut with other products down to about 20 per cent pure and there it is, I found all the info on the net have never tried and do not intend to,

but for your information when removing head that are not completely dry use gloves since if the liquid gets on your skin it is absorbed and you can get a nasty buss and later a major head ache enough of it and it can become dangerous.


That's scummy. Grow your own opium.

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