Blunder sees English poppies on sale in Scottish Sainsbury's stores

Shoppers buying poppies in Sainsbury's stores north of the border have been sold the English version - rather than the Scottish poppy made by veterans in Edinburgh.

Scottish poppies have four petals and no leaf, while their English counterparts have just two petals and sport a green leaf on the stem.

The retailer said an unspecified number of its branches had been affected by a delivery error which meant English poppies - which have just two petals and a green leaf in contrast to the four-petal version sold in Scotland by Poppyscotland - were sent out to Scottish stores.

Scottish poppies have been manufactured in the Lady Haig factory since the 1920s. Although Scottish charity Poppyscotland merged with the Royal British Legion - which operates in England, Wales and Northern Ireland - five years ago, the money raised remains separate and the £2 million raised in Scotland is spent on supporting war veterans north of the border.

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However, the retailer assured customers that all funds raised would still go directly to Poppyscotland.

A Sainsbury’s spokeswoman said: “Unfortunately the wrong poppies were delivered to a handful of our Scottish stores but customers can rest assured that all funds raised will go to Poppyscotland.”

A Poppyscotland spokeswoman said: “We are aware that - due to a mailing error - Sainsbury’s stores in Scotland received poppystock from our parent charity, the Royal British Legion, rather than Scottish poppies from Poppyscotland. This has now been rectified and stores have been issued with replacement stock.

"Any donations made throughout the Remembrance period at Sainsbury’s will still come to Poppyscotland. We would like to thank Sainsbury’s for their long standing and incredibly generous support to both Poppyscotland and the Royal British Legion.”

The PoppyScotland factory is staffed by around 40 war veterans, the majority of whom have disabilities.

Twitter user Graham McAslan said he had spotted English poppies on sale at his local Sainsbury’s store in Earl Grey Street, Edinburgh.

He wrote: “My local @sainsburys in Edinburgh sells @PoppyLegion not @poppyscotland Poppies.”

PoppyScotland insists it would be “botanically incorrect” to add a leaf and says it would cost about £15,000 to do so.