Friday, November 20, 2015

Flower for the Day White Poppy Greenland



In going over some images of a cemetery in Qaqortaq Greenland I noticed that this white poppy (Papaver radicatum) was growing on a grave. It is also called P.lapponicum. White poppies are common especially in areas where clouds and fog obscure the sun. Poppy flowers constantly turn to face the sun. In fact poppies turn to face the sun throughout all the 24 hours of daylight when that occurs. Growth in the stalk results from the elongation of stalk cells and those cells on the sunlit side grow slower than those on the shadier side. This differential causes the stalk to bend toward the slow growing side instead of facing straight up and allows it to "follow" the sun. This is made possible because the G3 plant hormone (gibberrillic acid) in the tip of the stalk stimulates elongation in the cells below and since sunlight inhibits the formation of this hormone then growth is slowed on the sunlit side producing the differential. It is this differential that allows the poppy to follow the sun without becoming twisted on itself.
Under cloudy or foggy conditions the poppies grow straight as above.

The white poppies that the family has put on the grave are a sign of peace and reconciliation.

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