|PAPAVER species - Poppy|
Papaveraceae; nativity is embedded in text below.
Germination: Best sown indoors at 55-60°. Expect germination in 10-15 days. Seeds can also be sown in situ outdoors in late fall or early spring with germination occurring in the spring. The seeds of P. orientale need light to germinate, however, the others need darkness so place the seed flat in a dark location or cover the flat with black plastic. Outdoors, make sure those seeds are completely covered.
Growth: Transplant when there are at least two sets of true leaves, taking great care with the roots as they resent being disturbed. P. orientale must receive cold treatment of 12-14 weeks at 40-45° in order to flower. Finish plants at 50-55° days and 55-60° nights. Plant out in full sun in a rich soil with excellent drainage. They are very tolerant of drought and high humidity, but prefer climates with cool summers. Plants often go dormant in the summer or completely dye out in the heat of the South. Space the perennial P. alpinum 6 inches apart, and the biennial P. nudicaule 10 inches apart. The perennial P. orientale must have dry soils and should be spaced 18 inches apart. The annual P. rhoeas should be spaced 9-12 inches apart.
Appearance and Use: Planted in borders and rock gardens. P. nudicaule is the only poppy suitable for cut flower use. P. alpinum grows 5-10 inches high, 1 1/2 inch flowers in colors of white, yellow, or pink. It is native to the European Alps and hardy from Zones 4 to 6. P. nudicaule has single or double, cup-shaped flowers in colors of white and yellow, red, orange, rose, or apricot. Native to North America and hardy from Zones 2 to 7. P. orientale is a basal rosette of coarse, pinnate leaves growing 2-4 feet tall. The late spring flowers are 4-6 inches diameter and are colored white, orange, pink, red, or salmon, all with black centers. Native to Asia and hardy from Zones 2 to 7. P. rhoeas Field Poppy, is native to Europe. The 2 inch flowers come in colors of red, purple, white, pink, salmon, or orange, often with dark centers.
NASA Seeds in Space
"Digging up a mature clump of perennials, separating it into segments with new stems and roots and discarding the old core is an effective way to keep plants vigorous, free-flowering and disease-free," Adrian Higgins, The Washington Post Garden Book