Flanders Field Poppy, Shirley Poppy
Poppies provide gay spring and summer color for borders, containers, and bouquets. Give ordinary, well-drained soil, and feed lightly until established. Perennial species tend to be short-lived. When using poppies as cut flowers, sear cut stem ends in a flame before placing them in water.
Native to Eurasia and North Africa. Slender, branching, hairy-stemmed plant to 3 ft. tall and 1 ft. wide, with short, irregularly divided leaves. Single or double flowers are 2 in. or more wide, in white, pink, red, orange, salmon, scarlet, lilac, soft blue, bicolors.
Mix seed with an equal amount of fine sand, then broadcast it where plants are to grow. For bloom from spring through summer, make successive sowings starting in early spring. In low and intermediate desert, plant in fall for outstanding early spring show. For cut flowers, pick when buds first show color. Remove seed capsules (old flower bases) weekly to prolong the bloom season. Notorious self-sower.
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