Friday, March 26, 2010

Iceland Poppy

Iceland Poppy
Papaver nudicale 'Garden Gnome'
Click Here for a Larger Version

This oddball flower was part of a group of Icelandic Poppies we planted in the perennial border last spring. It was kind of an impulse buy and plant because the owner of the garden wanted a few Poppies. This type wouldn’t be my first choice because I just can’t seem to get them to last and sure enough after flowering they died. Even though it is sold as a perennial from now on they are being officially treated as annuals in our gardens. This particular flower made it all worthwhile as it was a curiosity and was fawned over.

After scouring the Internet for the reason that this flower had two colors on the different petals I drew a blank. There has to be a scientific reason for it but Google didn’t turn it up (could have been the search terms). It did yield this interesting article Color in Flowers by Dr. Leonard P. Perry, Extension Associate Professor at the University of Vermont Extension Department of Plant and Soil Science. It is the kind of thing that can sidetrack me when doing research for this blog.

Iceland Poppies are often used as mass planting in the fall and make a tremendously colorful carpet of reds, yellows and oranges. It can make a nice change from Pansies and Mums. They can be used early in the spring also and are often forced to bloom early. While they like full sun the heat of the summer often shuts them down completely. If you like the garden classic of the Poppy flower give these a try and I hope you have better luck than I have.


NellJean said...

Beautiful. I have never seen a bicolor poppy, but it may have been just an anomaly of that single blossom.

Iceland poppies are annuals where I garden. I often plant them instead of the more expensive tulips which last 3 days to the poppies' 3 weeks of bloom. None this year, but I'll remember next fall to start them.

i beati said...

and they are all double color like that ?? sandy

Lin said...

I love all poppies! The Iceland have never done well for me. I've had more luck with the Oriental. This bi-color is beautiful! Maybe you can propagate it!

Les said...

I get sidetracked by trying to explain mysteries like this flower, but sometimes it's enough just to enjoy the change.

Mayte said...

Beautifull. Excellent photo.

EastCoastLife said...

I love the bright colours and its unique two colours. Your garden must look a pretty sight when they are in full bloom!

Kala said...

What an amazing image. It is so interesting to see 2 completely separate colors in one flower.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I came across this whilst trying to find an answer to my own Icelandic Poppy mystery....I have a plant that I planted two weeks ago in full bloom. Then it was red, now it is flowering yellow. Any suggestions?