Papaver Somniferum

There are gaping holes in my ‘Poison Flower Fairies‘ painting series. This suspicious selection of characters so far includes some toxic, medicinal and aggressive types of fairies, but I have yet to add two blindingly obvious ones. One of the omissions is Atropa Belladonna, a.k.a Deadly Nightshade, both notorious and medicinal, and this is partly because I don’t know anywhere hereabouts where it grows though it must be somewhere around, and I do like to draw a plant from life even if it’s sometimes hard to track down the fairies.

The other one is almost so obvious you wouldn’t believe it was the correct plant: Papaver Somniferum, the Opium Poppy. It is a curious fact that if you try growing cannabis the police will have words to to say about it, and yet nobody cares that gardens all over the country are sprinkled with opium poppies. It’s not as if it’s a difficult thing to get the opium out, either. No, I haven’t tried it, I don’t imagine it’s my thing, but I did look it up. I found some very interesting things, but you can all use Google yourselves I imagine.

So here is a sketch I’ve been playing about with for a while: one more ‘poison’ that, like the Foxglove and Deadly Nightshade is also a massively important medicine…

The Opium Fairies - sketch
The Opium Fairies – sketch


  1. Oh I can’t wait to see this one finished! *toothy grin* 😀

  2. Caroline medusalike

    Hey, Nancy, what about the Opium Fairies BEFORE they fell asleep, dancing wildly with their scarlet skirts whirling wonderfully

    1. oh but I don’t think that’s Opium, Caroline – they dream they are dancing wildly, but they only dream….

  3. Caroline medusalike

    And there must be a Mischeivous Faory that shakes the seed heads to scatter the seeds….a Poppy Harvest Fairy?

    1. They’re usually stolen by the bagel fairy I believe 😉

  4. They’re aren’t really sleeping beauties. are they? (although beautifully rendered) . They’re probably relieved no-one’s going to wake them with a kiss.

    1. hmmm, I need to be more obvious about the possible palliative aspect here I think, that’s why I chose the one in the front to be a very old wrinkly fairy dreaming away her last days. Though old wrinkly fairies can still be goers I hear, if you wake them up 😉

  5. Got a garden full of it, beautiful plant

    1. opium poppies I take it, not deadly nightshade, Rosie? Cos I really want some deadly nightshade! Not as pretty, tho shiny berries 🙂

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