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Re: Iris Compatible Plants (poppies)

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: Re: Iris Compatible Plants (poppies)
  • From: "Jeff and Carolyn Walters" <cwalters@digitalpla.net>
  • Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 21:31:07 -0700 (MST)

Glen Simmons writes:
> Also my friend has told me that the p. somniferum only needs to
> be weeded while young because as it gets older the foliage becomes so
> the weeds can't compete.  I know I wouldn't want them in my iris beds!
> And I am assuming that is what you are saying, you scatter them in your
> beds.  If someone planted a poppy other than the California then problems
> might arise.  This was my concern when reading you post.

There are three self-sowing plants that I planted the first year here
(1978) that I have had to learn to live with ever since - Bachelor's
Buttons (Centaurea cyanus), California Poppy (Eschscholzia californicum)
and Perennial flax (Linum perenne). Each of them thrives under the same
conditions as bearded iris, and so they have made  homes for themselves in
my iris beds. In reasonable numbers they are quite compatible with iris.
The trouble is they do not practice any form of birth control. Even though
they have airy foliage, both California Poppies and Perennial Flax (which
has been discussed previously on this List) can sow themselves so densely
that they tend to "smother" the rhizomes and promote rot. 

In other environments these species may not present a problem. I think the
"bottom line" from this discussion is don't plant anything among your iris
that is too happy with your growing conditions or you will live to regret

Jeff Walters in northern Utah  (USDA Zone 4, Sunset Zone 2)


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