Contact Us Host an Event 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

Strappy leaves on rudbeckias from Houston
October 31, 2013 - My Rudbeckias keep sending up odd shoots with strappy leaves on them. Should these be cut off? What is their purpose?
view the full question and answer

Plant Suggestions for Flower Boxes in NY
July 06, 2016 - I am doing a project for a friend that had some flower boxes built along his driveway. They are along a hill leading up to his porch. They are made of all wood and have a wooden wall along the not-hil...
view the full question and answer

Problem with Pterocaulon pycnostachyum
September 17, 2014 - I have a solitary Pterocaulon pycnostachyum in my wildscape; it invited itself. Some years it does not flower at all (or the bloom is eaten before I see it), and its stalks (usually 4) are not ...
view the full question and answer

Houston plants adaptable to Birmingham, AL
June 14, 2007 - I have recently moved from Houston to Birmingham Al. I had a wildflower garden in my back yard. Would the same flowers work here as well? I would love to have the same beautiful colors here.
view the full question and answer

Native plants for pots for wedding in November
October 03, 2006 - Will any of the plants that are in your big plant sale be flowering in November? I am looking for plants that would do well in pots because I'd like to use them as center pieces at a wedding (in Aus...
view the full question and answer

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