The poppies below were our favorites in the garden this year
A relatively new cultivar developed in the US. This poppy has shades of dramatic black to deep purple. The flowers have more of a dark purplish tinge in bright sunlight. Like most papaver somniferum poppies you can expect average heights of around 30 inches. The seed pods of this variety are average in size when compared to other poppy cultivars. This poppy makes a nice ornamental display when interspersed around taller herbaceous plants or shrubs.
Like most people we cringed when we first heard this name – but as it turns out it is one of the more showy poppies to hit the garden. It’s no wonder why this poppy has become so popular on the internet. Petals are shaded with deep purple and violet near the center which blends to vivid raspberry toward the edges, then deeply cut with irregular pointy fringes. Yellow-green centers with prominent creamy – yellow anthers accentuate the 4 to 5″ flower. Depending on your point of view, intriguing, hideous or somewhere in between, but undeniably dramatic. A height of 24 to 36 inches is pretty common for this poppy and has average sized seed pods at the end of the season.
Peshawar Poppy (Papaver somniferum var. album) is a wonderful cool season ornamental native to southeastern Europe and western Asia. Its showy white blossoms (approximately seven to 10 per plant) give way to giant seed pods with substantial white seeds typically used for baking. A standout in the garden, the large white flowers are very attractive to bees and other beneficial pollinators. We’ve had great success direct seeding rows in early spring after frost danger has passed, however we have seen some of these form the rosette at the end of the previous season from wind sown seed and survive an average winter in USDA zones as low as 6b. The plants easily obtain a height of 36 inches and often will be found at around 48 inches when planted with a rich manure based compost. The seed pods at the end of the season will not disappoint, often being a bit larger that a golf ball and very near the size of a plumb when given the right growing conditions.