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Mr. Smarty Plants - Poppies for a wedding in August from Highlands Ranch CO

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Monday - February 04, 2013

From: Highlands Ranch , CO
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Propagation, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Poppies for a wedding in August from Highlands Ranch CO
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Are poppies available to buy for weddings in August in Colorado?

ANSWER:

Are you planning to buy plants to put in the ground, or cut poppies for bouquets, etc? If you just want cut poppies, we suggest you talk to a local florist. Most cut flowers at florists are flown in from out of the country, which makes it possible to have flowers year round that may be out of season where you are.

If you were planning to have poppies growing in the soil to be used for decorations and bouquets, we will have to investigate what poppies might be native to Colorado and what the blooming season is for those. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is dedicated to the growth, protection and propagation of plants native to the area in which they will be grown; in this case, Douglas County, pretty much at the center of Colorado.

We will go to our Native Plant Database and type in "poppy" (without the quotation marks) in the green box at the top of the page. and click GO. We got a list of 44 poppies or plants with "poppy" in their common names, not always true poppies. When we indicated Colorado under State in the sidebar on the right side of the webpage, we got a list of 9 poppies native to your state. Here is that list:

Argemone hispida (Rough pricklypoppy) - perennial, blooms March to August

Argemone polyanthemos (Annual pricklepoppy) - annual, blooms April to August

Argemone squarrosa (Hedgehog pricklypoppy) - perennial

Callirhoe alcaeoides (Light poppy-mallow) - perennial, March to August

Callirhoe involucrata (Winecup) - perennial, blooms February to June

Callirhoe involucrata (Winecup) - perennial, blooms March to June

Eschscholzia californica (California poppy) - annual February to August

Papaver radicatum (Alpine poppy) - perennial June to August

Eschscholzia californica ssp. californica (California poppy) picture - annual February to August

You can follow each plant link to our webpage on that plant to learn its propagation, growing conditions, etc.

So, now you know what grows in Colorado, but they are not all blooming in August, which eliminates Callirhoe alcaeoides (Light poppy-mallow), Callirhoe involucrata var. lineariloba (Poppy mallow) and Callirhoe involucrata (Winecup), none of which are true poppies anyway. Then, lets talk about the word "prickly" in Argemone hispida (Rough pricklypoppy), Argemone polyanthemos (Annual pricklepoppy), Argemone squarrosa (Hedgehog pricklypoppy). These are not true poppies, either, and they are not kidding when they say "prickly," these are NOT good wedding flowers. This leaves us with three that bloom in August - Eschscholzia californica (California poppy), Papaver radicatum (Alpine poppy), and  Eschscholzia californica ssp. californica (California poppy).

There really are not any good prospects here. If the plant you are interested in is an annual, it should have been planted last Fall. If you are looking at a perennial, it should have been planted last spring, because perennials usually don't bloom until their second season. Therefore, the answer to your question "Are poppies available to buy for weddings in August in Colorado?" is "no, sorry," but we wanted you to know why.

 

From the Image Gallery


Rough pricklypoppy
Argemone hispida

Annual pricklepoppy
Argemone polyanthemos

Hedgehog pricklypoppy
Argemone squarrosa

Light poppy-mallow
Callirhoe alcaeoides

Poppy mallow
Callirhoe involucrata var. lineariloba

Winecup
Callirhoe involucrata

California poppy
Eschscholzia californica

Rooted poppy
Papaver radicatum

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