Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Thursday - January 21, 2010

From: Salt Lake City, UT
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Herbs/Forbs
Title: Perennial poppies for Salt Lake City
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What are the best poppies, perennial if possible, to plant in Salt Lake City, Utah?

ANSWER:

Of the genus Papaver, which is the"real" poppy, as opposed to those with "poppy" in their common name, there are 6 native to North America and 2 to Utah. You understand that when we are asked for the best plant for a purpose, we insert the word "native" because that is what we do at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, encourage the use, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. The two native to Utah are Papaver nudicaule (Icelandic poppy) and Papaver radicatum (rooted poppy). 

We would recommend the Icelandic poppy. In Salt Lake City you are in USDA Hardiness Zone 5; the Icelandic Poppy is considered hardy from USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 10. In fact, they will do much better where you are with cold winters, because they cannot withstand hot summers like we have in Texas and the Southeast. They are considered short-lived perennials; in the South and Southeast they are considered annuals, because of the summers. They grow easily from seeds, but the seeds are tiny, and the poppies don't like to be transplanted, so you might try root cuttings in Winter, while the plants are dormant. 

 

From the Image Gallery


Icelandic poppy
Papaver nudicaule

Icelandic poppy
Papaver nudicaule

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Golden groundsel plants or seeds for Bulverde TX
October 02, 2011 - Where can I find golden groundsel, plants or seeds?
view the full question and answer

Coreopsis failing to bloom in Sonora CA
August 04, 2009 - My Coreopsis buds form and then die. Very few open. The plants are two and three years old, in a clay type soil. Is it possible they're getting too much water, and that is whats making the buds die ...
view the full question and answer

Why do Turk's cap plants have such a variable growth habit?
December 10, 2015 - In visiting the Family Garden at the Lady Bird Wildflower Center yesterday (10-21-15,) I admired a large bunch of Turks Cap that had more blooms than I had ever seen on Turks Cap, and I've loved that...
view the full question and answer

Restoring disturbed land in Marshall, TX.
December 04, 2014 - I have a 30 acre tract of land in Marshall, Texas. The oil company has turned 2-3 acres surrounding the rig into gravel. I would like to return the gravel area to green space. Any suggestions on gras...
view the full question and answer

Planting under Pine Trees in Pocatello ID
April 08, 2014 - Hi I was wondering if you could give me some ideas of what I could plant under and near some pine trees for my area. The trees are huge and so it is also constant shade where I want to plant. Thanks f...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.