Oriental Poppy Pocket Journal

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Model: PJ-114
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Oriental Poppy

The Oriental Poppy (Papaver Orientale) is not only magnificent, but easy to grow. If its basic requirements of a sunny location and well-drained soil are met, this hardy perennial will bloom with minimal intervention for many years. The Oriental Poppy is a hybrid of two species of poppies originating in Turkey, however it is considered minimally invasive.

The undulating stems of these poppies can reach three to four feet in height, and the enormous silky flowers, resembling crepe paper, can measure six to ten inches across. Flower colors range from white, blush, pink and salmon, to brilliant orange and red. A cluster of inky black stamens forms the dramatic center of each flower, and some varieties also sport a black patch at the base of each petal. The cut flowers look splendid for several days, and can be used in a traditional mixed arrangement or alone to create a graceful art nouveau look.

In addition to its spectacular flowers, the Oriental Poppy boasts dramatic foliage, interesting spiky buds, and distinctive seed pods, all of which add drama to the garden. The pods may be left to dry for ornament and for birds to feed upon.

The poppy has a long history in human cultivation. In ancient Egypt, opium was favored as a sleep aid, and pharaohs were sometimes buried with opium artifacts. Unlike Oriental Poppies, Opium Poppies (Papaver somniferum) are annuals, and the cultivation of them is illegal.

artwork and text by Betsy Karasik

Tags: botanicals,