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peony poppies

04/26/2011 in poppies, Spring Garden

What colour is this?

fluorescent poppy
Papaver Paeoniflorum

Planting various colours together results in some outstanding new colours…

group of mixed poppies

mixed peony poppies

For years, this garden has been limited to just pink double poppies, I campaigned to bring in some mixed seed.

Last Autumn, I was allowed to plant the purdy ones… These poppies have only just begun, with less than 20% of the plants having flowers. One wonders what other new colours will manifest…

I started this mix with white ones collected from a garden in Maine, and double pinks that were offered through the Farmers and Consumers ad sheet. The bees did the rest…


Poppies in GA must be planted (sowed) in the Autumn. If you don’t get the seed planted until spring, they probably won’t bloom… Our Spring weather doesn’t last long enough. Peony poppies are heavy feeders, preferring a spot in the vegetable garden to the flower border… Sow the seeds on top of the soil, covering the seeds won’t help them…

Pest problems

They’re completely bambi proof, but… not so sure about the law… The seed companies used to refuse to ship seeds to The States, while Canadians were perfectly free to order as many different varieties as they chose. Matter of fact, one Canadian posting at the I-Dig forums published his collection of poppies back in 2007, and had the rest of us feeling jealous, and begging him to share…

I took a walk with a friend one fine spring evening (a year or two ago), looking at the flowers growing in her neighborhood, and spotted a group of peony poppies… we looked to see if we could see any unusual colours… Apparently a common occurrence in that yard… the lady of the house came out and talked to us, talked about how the poppies required being planted precisely on October the fifteenth… Pretty cool…

My poppies have always been happy with just being left alone… I sow them in a new garden once, and never do anything again… the goldfinches show up to eat the mature seeds, and they spill just enough for the poppies to come back and make a nice showing next Spring.

Literary mentions

One always recalls Dotty and her little dog too… yellow bricks and stuff, and whether we could wander through fields of poppies and enter the realms of Morpheus… the way that L. Frank Baum describes… And cool as that sounds, the author of “The Wizard of Oz” took some artistic liberties… I don’t think you’re ever going to see flying monkeys either…

We also remember another story, about the poppies in Flander’s Field.

The Guess Who recorded a memorable song where they discuss using those poppies at flanders field…

Of course, those poppies at flander’s field are corn poppies, (shirley poppies) papaver rhoeas; not the same thing at all! Again, a case of artistic license…

There’s some discussion going online about whether the peony poppies contain lesser amounts of the active ingredient as compared with the species poppy grown in Asia… Could be… I think these guys are entirely too pretty to ever be considered as anything except an ornamental.

mixed poppies

Incidentally, the colour that I’ve come up with for the top poppy is “cerise, but I don’t think that colour quite does the vibrancy justice…. I think that magenta tones with vermilion highlights may come closer… or maybe “sindoor”?

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4 responses to peony poppies

  1. Sidney said on 04/26/2011

    Love the pictures!! I used to have neighbors who had some gorgeous poppies like these. Wish I still had them. (both the neighbors and the flowers)

  2. Donna said on 06/06/2012

    Thanks for this information and the link to get here. Always new stuff to learn.

  3. My first thought on the color was magenta. Very informative post on poppies. I had no idea there were so many kinds of poppies. If you plant in the autumn, on bare ground, what do you do about WEEDS?

    • stone said on 01/18/2015

      Far too much concern is wasted on “weeds”.
      When the seedlings are small, I hand pull weeds, and when I’ve sown the poppy seeds too closely, i thin those as well.
      In this post poppies can be seen coming up and blooming among the other stuff (weeds)…
      Weeds is mostly a non-issue that people need to relax about.

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