Romneya – Matilija Poppy, Perennials Guide to Planting Flowers

Romneya - Matilija Poppy, Perennials Guide to Planting Flowers

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 semi shrub 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.

How to plant Romneya

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.

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 detrimental. 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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