Poppies

Eliza Waters

IMG_0454Lettuce Leaf Poppy (Papaver somniferum)

Also known as Breadseed Poppy, this is one of my favorite self-sowing annuals that puts on quite a show in early summer. Only lasting a day, the delicate blossoms of papery petals are a lovely mauve color atop gray-green, sharply serrated foliage. This type of poppy comes in white, pink, red and purple colors, as well as fringed and double varieties.

Beloved by bees for their abundant pollen, I often get cross-pollinated seedlings with a red variety I grow in another bed, which can result in a lovely raspberry color. I try to keep the separate beds true to color, as I once almost lost the mauve in a sea of red, so if a red pops up in the mauve bed, I do not let it to go to seed.

July-Aug07 (5)

Happy bee in red/mauve cross.

Each seed pod contains dozens of tiny seeds that can be…

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