A yard full of poppies that could have yielded up to a pound of pure opium was dug up by Oceanside police, much to the surprise of the 91-year-old woman who thought they were just pretty flowers.
Police discovered the 4-foot-high red-colored blooms Tuesday afternoon in the backyard of Naomi von Tunglen. Police said she told them the poppies sprouted in her yard several years ago and were so pretty that she allowed them to stay.
"I explained the law to her. She was surprised it was a felony to grow them," officer Ed Morton said. "She was very cooperative."
Morton and partner Pete Coppack uprooted the illegal flowers earlier this week. Von Tunglen was not arrested.
The flowers are in the Oceanside police evidence room and will be turned over to San Diego County authorities for incineration, Morton said.