Meaning and symbolism of the poppy flower

Like many other flowers, the poppy flower has many meanings, but these are not the same in all cultures and traditions throughout history. First of all it must be said that the poppy flower is the symbol of relaxation and recovery. This flower is believed to help treat many health problems and has a calming effect on the nerves. The symbolism of the poppy flower as a calming flower comes from ancient times.

What does the poppy symbolize?

Here are some commonly accepted meanings for these beautiful flowers, we will talk in detail about each of them:


The poppy is known for its soporific effects. After all, it is the famous (or infamous) flower for being the natural source of opiates, such as opium, morphine, and heroin. However, even before it was engineered to produce dangerously potent drugs, the poppy was known as a natural sleep inducer for centuries. In fact, the drug morphine, derived from the poppy, is named after the Greek god of dreams and sleep, Morpheus.


Just as they are symbols of the dream, poppies also symbolize the dream. Seeing poppies can be a reminder to pay attention to your dreams, as they can have important messages for you.


Since the poppy has the power to change your state of consciousness, it is also a symbol of imagination. Too often, as adults, we get caught up in the realities of managing life and getting through the day. The poppy is a reminder that imagination is the key to making life more wonderful.


Poppies are also associated with sacrifice. In Christianity, the red of the poppy symbolizes the blood of Christ and his sacrifice on the cross. Also, poppies are related to the fallen in world wars and the ultimate sacrifice they made to protect a lifestyle.


Just as they are symbols of sleep and even death, poppies are also symbols of regeneration. These hardy flowers can grow in tough spots and in depleted soil. That is why they are used in agriculture when it is necessary to rotate crops. Also, legend has it that poppies grew on ancient battlefields in places where soldiers died.

The ancient Greeks believed that poppies represented Demeter, the goddess of agriculture and the harvest. Also, they were associated with Demeter's daughter, Persephone, the goddess of the underworld and spring growth.

In Christianity, the poppy symbolizes not only the blood of Christ, but his resurrection and ascent to heaven.

So while poppies have been associated with death throughout history, they are also a symbol of regeneration and the promise of eternal life.


In addition to its more frequent connotations, the poppy flower is also a symbol of luxury and even decadence. You can imagine an opium den in which people lie on pillows and fall into a stupor. It is curious that the poppy is associated both with the harshness of war and at the same time with evasion and hedonism.

Meaning of the poppy according to the color of the flower

Poppies come in a variety of shades, from blood red to yellow, blue, and even black and white. Here are the symbolic meanings associated with the colors of this flower:

Red poppy

Red poppies symbolize eternal love, remembrance and sacrifice. They are placed on the graves of fallen soldiers to honor their memory. And they are also associated with the blood of Christ. However, in Asian countries, red poppies symbolize success and good fortune, as well as romantic love.

Pink poppies

The meaning of the pink poppy includes compassion, platonic love, and restful sleep.

Orange poppy

Orange poppy flowers represent health and regeneration.

Yellow poppies

Yellow poppies symbolize renewal, optimism and seeing the bright side of situations.

Yellow poppies can be planted or used in memorials as a way to honor loved ones who have passed away and to acknowledge that you will focus on positive memories of their time on Earth.

White poppy

Symbol of the memory of loved ones who have passed away, white poppies are also associated with faith and the eternal life of the soul.

White is the color of innocence and purity, so white poppies are also symbols of restful sleep, pleasant dreams, and renewal.

Blue poppies

Blue poppies are rare; however, you can find them growing naturally in the Himalayas. The blue poppy symbolizes faith in a higher spiritual power. In addition, they symbolize the messages of the celestial beings.

Purple poppy

The purple poppy meaning includes imagination, tranquility, and luxury. The purple poppy is a useful symbol when you want to connect with your artistic muse and create something truly beautiful.

The color purple is a way to pay tribute and honor another person, which is why purple poppies make lovely gifts for the people you love and respect.

Black poppy

Poppy Papaver somniferum it comes in some shades so dark they are almost black. Black poppy meanings include elegance, deep sleep, and the most hidden dreams.

Spiritual meaning of the poppy flower

As they are symbols of sleep and regeneration, on the spiritual plane, poppies symbolize the possibility of the eternal life of the soul, including reincarnation. They remind us that the death of the physical body on Earth is only one step in the evolution of the soul. While our bodies are mere shells, our souls are truly eternal.

The poppy flower in cultural mythology and folklore

As mentioned throughout this post, the poppy has inspired the work of creative people for centuries. Here are other examples of the poppy in cultural beliefs and mythology.

Meaning of the poppy in Greek mythology

The poppy appears several times in Greek and Roman mythology. As already mentioned, the Greeks associate Morpheus, the god of dreams and dreams, with the poppy. They also associated Hypnos, the father of Morpheus, with the powerful flower, since Hypnos managed to put the powerful Zeus to sleep.

Furthermore, the goddess Demeter was said to prepare poppy tea so that she could sleep while her daughter Persephone traveled from one side of the underworld to the other.

The symbolism of the poppy in ancient Egypt

The ancient Egyptians associated poppies with the god Osiris, who was both the god of death and agriculture. So it is possible that even the ancient Egyptians understood the usefulness of the poppy in crop rotation.

The Egyptians also included poppies in much of their artwork, including artifacts buried with mummies. They too associated the poppy flower with eternal life.

The symbolism of the poppy in Christianity

In Christianity, the poppy is a symbol of the blood of Christ and the sacrifice of his death on Earth. Also, Christians associate the poppy with the resurrection of Jesus and his ascent to heaven and immortality.

Poppy symbolism in Asia

In Asian countries, such as China and Japan, poppies also symbolize honor to those who have passed away. However, they also symbolize romantic and passionate love.

Meaning of poppy tattoos

A poppy tattoo is loaded with a lot of meaning. It can symbolize love and honor for a loved one who has passed away and / or for those who have died in battle. Also, it can symbolize escapism and the dream state of creativity. A poppy can be an especially powerful design for a tattoo because the flower has had a profound impact on people's imaginations throughout history.

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