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How to Grow Romneya

Romneya (rom-nee-a)

Named in honour of the Rev T. Romney Robinson (1792-1882), an Irish astronomer who discovered Romneya coulteri (Papaveraceae). A genus of two species of handsome, semi-shrubby perennials from southwestern California with extremely attractive poppy-like flowers, borne singly at the ends of the stems.

Species cultivated R. coulteri, Californian tree poppy, 6-8 feet, leaves and stems glaucous, flowers satiny white, fragrant, 4-5 inches across, petals frilled, with a prominent mass of golden stamens, throughout the summer. R. trichocalyx (syn. R. coulteri trichocalyx), similar, but with more erect growth and somewhat larger flowers with a dense covering of bristle-like hairs on the calyx. Hybrids are sometimes offered under the name R.

x hybrida (syn. R. vandedenii).

Cultivation These beautiful plants should be planted' in April or May in a deep, well-drained soil and a sheltered sunny position, preferably beneath a south-facing wall where they can spread. Once planted, the roots should be left undisturbed unless the underground stems or roots are required for propagation purposes. They are not suitable for exposed districts. Propagation is by root cuttings taken in March or April, about 2 inches long and inserted singly in small pots containing sandy soil and placed in a propagating frame with gentle bottom heat, or seed may be sown in pans of sandy soil in February or March in a temperature of 55°F (13°C). Whichever method of propagation is used, the plants should be grown on for a year or more in pots before they are planted out in their permanent positions.

 



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