Homes across the UK will fall silent today in remembrance of the nation’s war dead on Armistice Day, as the coronavirus pandemic limits public commemorations.

People have been encouraged to pause on their doorsteps or by windows for the traditional two minutes silence at 11am on Wednesday.

But those observing paying their respects, even in the comfort and security of their own home, might have noticed that the poppy in Scotland is slightly different to those bought south of the border.

What is different?

In very simple terms, the Scottish poppy does not have a green leaf.

It also has four-lobed petals instead of two.

Why is it different?

The Scottish poppy was designed by Lady Haig – the wife of Field Marshal Haig, in 1926 when she opened a factory to meet demand for poppies.

She decided to go for a “more botanically correct poppy” without the leaf, according to the Poppy Scotland website.

Barrhead News:

The factory, named Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory in Edinburgh, employs ex-Servicemen and women to hand-assemble 4 million poppies and over 12,000 wreaths every year.

Speaking to the Metro in 2017, a spokesman for Poppy Scotland also claimed thousands of pounds were being saved by removing the leaf.

They told the title: “Apart from being botanically incorrect it would cost £15,000 to make leaves for all poppies – money we feel is better spent on veterans.

“We might be slightly biased but we think the Scottish poppy looks nicer too.”

How much money is raised?

In 2019, the Scottish Poppy Appeal raised £2.95 million, with the money raised going to provide financial support, employment, mobility, housing and mental health support for those in the Armed Forces.

More information can be found on the Poppy Scotland website here.