Just about every gardener is aware of our west coast native California Poppy. It has a huge range from far southern Washington State to Mexico. There are several subspecies, but this one is exceptional. This PERENNIAL California Poppy is very different than the species. ‘Martima’ or Coastal California Poppy is a low, tidy, mat that erupts in wave after wave of flowers from spring to autumn. The tight congested foliage is handsome blue green and pairs well with the golden flowers that have a central area of orange. This plant is native to sand/very well drained soils and if you replicate that in your garden this is a very long lived plant. It also excels in the very well drained soil of containers and will drape over the edge and follow the contours closely. Ideally this plant is adapted to slopes with just light water during the summer. No need to dead head this plant is naturally remontant- re-blooming without any intervention from the gardener. Loved by all native pollinators and cherished by big black and yellow native bumbles. To 4″ tall as foliage – 8″ in flower its spread on average is about 2′ x 3′ in a year. Detests all shade, do not even try. Eschscholzia californica maritima is native to the northern and central California coast. Avoid compost and enriched soils, average soil is best. Not bothered by deer, rabbits, slugs, snails. So, why isn’t everyone growing this fantastic plant?
Yellow Horned Poppy is a Xera favorite perennial. This true poppy bears a long season of large irredesant light yellow flowers. They appear in succession for 6-8 weeks into the middle of summer. Flowers are replaced by long “horns” which are the seed pods. Incredibly blue glabrous rubbery foliage is wonderful with the glowing flowers. Full sun, well drained poor to average soil- adapts to rich soil with less water. Light summer water though established plants get by with nothing. To 2′ x 2′ in a single season. Dies back to a low rosette of leaves in winter. Will often seed around and you want this to happen cause the more of these the better. Average lifespan: 3-5 years. moderately deer resistant. No other pests. Excels in gravel gardens.
The brilliant ORANGE flowered horn poppy. Variety is the spice of life and we had of course to grow this form of one of our favorite perennials. HUGE true orange flowers are up to 5″ across and they glow from quite a distance. In combination with the blue rubbery foliage- WOW. Full sun and well drained poor to average soil with light to no summer water. Adapts to richer conditions but this will shorten its lifespan. Large blue long “horns” protrude from every direction where a flower was present. Self sows and comes true from seed. Leave the seedling where they are- transplanting this genus can be dicey. Enjoy it as the feral wildflower that it is. High deer resistance. 2′ x 2′. Dies to a low rosette in winter. Average lifespan: 3-5 years.
Plume poppy is one of our favorite big bold perennials. A true poppy it rises to 8′ tall and spreads vigorously forming large stands. Give it room to spread in average well drained soil with light summer water. In summer at the top of blue deeply lobed leaves (with a white underside) foam with coral colored plumes of bloom. All around a good looking plant. Doubles as a lush tropical looking presence. Plant with such things as the hardy banana ‘Musa Basjoo’ and large leaf Cannas. Spectacular. Moderate deer resistance. Drought adapted when established. Long lived perennial that is totally herbaceous in winter.
A poppy with chartreuse green flowers? Yes it exists. From a small rosette of blue green leaves a continuous supply of large flowers from May to August. The flowers are supported by 4″ stems and virtually glow against the blue foliage- also when backlit by the sun. Full sun and RICH, well drained soil with regular summer water. Excellent for a solitary ledge in a rock garden or in containers. Do not let this plant be crowded by others. It will die, instead leave it out in the open and give it the good stuff.
One of our very favorite perennials and not often seen in these parts. Turkish Spike poppy bucks the rest of the genus by bearing flowers along a tall spike much like a hollyhock. The furry gray spikes and buds erupt to reveeal HUGE 4″ ruffly glowing pastel apricot orange flowers. They start at the top of the spike and move down. To 2′ tall and forming multiple spikes from a basal rosette of handsome, furry scalloped leaves. Everything about this perennials is regal. Full sun and RICH, well drained soil that retains moisture. Regular summer irrigation. Clumps expand with time Flowers appear in late spring to mid summer. Strong deer resistance. Winter deciduous. Borders- the lush life.
This charming true poppy relative is also known as Cream Cups. Easy to see when the cup shaped flowers open during the sunniest time of the day. The petals are various shades of yellow with cream veining. Or is it the other way around? Either way its adorable beyond measure as this little thread leaf clump forming true annual pops into bloom in our climate from late April to early June. Not a prolific self seeder but I’ve heard once you get it where it likes it then its yours. To 5″ tall when the flowers top out. Full sun and average to rich well drained soil. Not difficult. West coast annuals are wonderful not only for their color, texture, and forms but of their endearing nature. They are tough little plants with a delicate appearance. Light summer water extends the bloom before high heat finally ends the show and seeds go flying. No shade. Rock gardens, spring borders. High deer resistance. This little beauty though mainly found in California comes just into Oregon in Curry and Josephine counties. Oregon native plant.
Improved version of the Matilija Poppy that we love to let colonize our dry hillsides. Enormous 8″ wide ruffled pure white flower petals surround a furry central yellow zone. This cultivar has bigger flowers, more of them and bluer foliage. Unfortunately, it is no less vigorous and will take all the real estate you can give it. Thats easily 10′ x 35′ in 5 years. Best in contained areas. Full sun and average, well drained soil. To 8′ tall in bloom. Transplant very carefully, do not disturb the roots- rather dig a hole and gently set the whole undisturbed rootball in there. Water regularly for the first season to establish then none in subsequent years. Stems will usually freeze to the ground in winter. Removes these in February before new growth starts. Strongly deer resistant. Native to S.California.
These are seed grown Matilija Poppies. They are very vigorous and will produce 5″ wide pure white flowers with a yellow center from June to September. Soft blue-gray foliage rises on 7′ stems which support the flowers. Full sun and very well drained soil and room to roam. Can travel many tens of feet in unobstructed space. Dies to the ground in winter. Cut back dead stems in spring when new growth emerges. Fried Egg Flower from Southern California. Moderate deer resistance. Wild areas, hillsides, the back 40. Spectacular in bloom.