Romneya – Matilija Poppy, Perennials Guide to Planting Flowers

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Perennial Flower Information

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Romneya – Matilija Poppy, California
Tree Poppy White Bush Poppy, Dream of the Desert

A glorious miracle! Thus
has the Matilija Poppy been described. With its transparent,
delicate, silvery, crinkled flowers which look as if
they were made of the forest white silk crepe, would
they not indeed present a glorious appearance ? The
Matilija Poppy (Romneya Conlteri) is a native
of the Southwestern States, Mexico and California in
particular, but with proper care, it can be grown equally
well in the Northern and Eastern States. The flowers
greatly resemble a large, white single Peony. It is
as large, being 4 inches to 6 inches in diameter, and
has a mass of golden yellow stamens in the center of
the pure white, crumpled petals. The leaves are bluish-green
and are very deeply cut. This Poppy is a semishrub and
grows from 4 feet to 6 feet high, spreading out each
year until large clumps are formed. The flowers come
into bloom about the end of June and last until the
first of September; they are borne singly on long stems,
each stem having from six to twelve or fifteen blooms.
The individual flowers last about three days and have
a delightful Primrose-like perfume.

UTILIZE. The Matilija Poppy
is grown in clumps in parks or gardens or in protected
semi-wild places. The flowers last well in water and
their delightful perfume and delicate satiny beauty
make them most acceptable in any room.

GENERAL. These plants should
be planted in warm, porous, sandy loam on a southern
exposure. The soil should be free from stagnant moisture
or water at all times, and especially so during the
dormant season in Wintertime. Before the heavy frosts
penetrate to the roots, they should be heavily mulched.
After the plants are once established, they should be
left strictly alone; even cultivation around the roots
seems detcrimental. Like herbaceous perennials, the
stems die to the ground each year and the flowers are
borne on the new growth which comes each Spring.

PROPAGATION. The Matilija
Poppy can be grown from seed, but this is a rather unsatisfactory
method. Root cuttings are the surest way. The roots
resemble thick prongs to which very few fibers are attached.
Spring is the best time for transplanting.

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