The Corn Poppy is a member of the Poppy Family
(Papaveraceae Family). These plants include the California poppy, the plume poppies, the bush poppies and of course the opium poppy. These plants all have large showy flowers of red, white, violet or yellow. The poppy shown above is the Corn poppy which was native to Europe but now grows over much of the United States also.
While Opium poppies are grown all over the world for their narcotic content, poppies may also be grown for food. The seeds are used as bird food and, as flavoring in breads, rolls and cakes. The seeds do not contain the narcotic properties, that is found in the milky sap of the unripened fruit capsule before the seeds develop. The seeds can also be pressed to extract the oil which is used in cooking, in artist's colors and in soap. The seed oil of the prickly poppy is used medicinally in parts of Africa and India and the stems of this plant are also cooked or eaten as salad.
There is some indication that the oil of the prickly poppy seed may be linked to dropsy and also to glaucoma.