We are very lucky in England having the Royal Horticultural Society that amongst its many services offers an excellent advisory service to members including email identification of plants. Kate is a member so when we found that mysterious bed of unknown plants we took lots of photos and sent them to their botanists for identification. Unfortunately, as time went by I became more and more convinced that what we'd got was a tenacious weed that needed to be destroyed at all costs so I set about removing every single one.
Yesterday we had our reply from the RHS......
They can't be absolutely certain of the exact species without seeing the flowers and fruit but are sure it's a poppy and probably Papaver Rhoeas - the common wild poppy that you see in France in fields and hedgerows everywhere in Summer.
This is one of my favourite wild flowers and we have spent years trying to get it to grow in our garden. We love them.
So last night I had to search through the pile of weeds waiting to be composted or burnt to retrieve the best looking ones and now they are replanted in almost their original spot. Poppies don't like to be moved and I must say, they don't look great but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
How stupid of me...why ever didn't I wait for that reply??
I'm glad we didn't eat the leaves thinking they were dandelion greens that do indeed make a nice salad. (Thanks for the comment Girl With Pointy Sticks). Poppy leaves can have a very different effect I think.
I'm ashamed to show you this photo.....but if you look carefully you can see a flower forming.
What a pity.