Plant this for spring: Celandine poppy

Plant this for spring: Celandine poppy

I can’t figure why more nurseries don’t carry celandine poppies. Their bold yellow flowers light up the shadiest parts of the garden where few other flowers shine. Mine bloom for weeks in March and April, after which they form the hairy fruit capsules so familiar on poppy plants. Chipmunks and mice like to feed on the seeds, but the foliage of celandine poppy is toxic to mammals, so deer and rabbits won’t eat them.

Also known as the yellow wood poppy, Stylophorum diphyllum grows in woods from Wisconsin to northern Alabama. They prefer rich soil, so I plant them near trees where leaves have been allowed to mulch. Cutting off spent flowers encourages them to rebloom later in spring. The plants can go dormant in a drought, but if you water during dry spells the foliage will last until frost.

If you can’t find them locally, there are online nurseries that specialize in native plants. They also reseed readily but not aggressively, so maybe a gardener friend can share. I hope to have some to share myself next spring.

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