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Re: Personal to Marte: Pink Poppies

Barb Johnson wrote:
> Hi, Marte!
> I sent a post the other day but no one noticed, I guess. A friend gave
> me a baggie almost full of her pink poppy seeds! I need to scatter them
> soon but we don't have an area cleared for that yet. But I was wondering
> what the name of the pink ones is. I bet you know!
> Thanks, Barb J                  lgjohnson@getonthe.net
> Near Springfield, MO

Barb, I'll give it my best shot -- on-List in case others are
interested. Hit delete if you're not!

There are pink-flowering forms of many poppies, annual, biennial &
perennial. If your friend's are unquestionably annuals, they are
probably either Papaver rhoeas (Shirley) or P. somniferum
(you-know-what) -- both can have either single or double flowers & both
have grey-green basal leaves that are heavily ruffled, reminiscent of
young lettuce plants. The Shirleys are usually the more delicate plants
in overall appearance & size, which can vary wildly in both from 1' on
up depending on soil, etc, but generally the "Sleepy" poppies are
noticeably heftier plants than the Shirley. The pastel Shirleys are
sometimes known as 'Fairy Wings' or 'Mother of Pearl'.

Pink flowers also are common in Icelandic poppies -- the one most often
called such is P. nudicale, which behaves as a biennial in warm, humid
climates but is perennial in cold gardens like mine. These plants have
basal leaves that are lobed, slightly hairy & med. green, not grey-green
-- flowering stems range anywhere from 8" to 2'. The only poppy actually
native to Iceland is P. radicatum, which usually flowers yellow but both
white & pink forms occur. This is a much smaller plant, only 6" or so, &
usually grown in alpine troughs or rock gardens.

The above seem the most likely to me but there are other possibilities,
including cultivars of Oriental Poppies (P. orientale, sometimes crossed
or confused with P. bracteatum) in colors ranging from palest pink thru
apricot -- neither these nor the P. nudicale will bloom the first year
from seed so if yours do it will be a clue! BTW, don't be surprised if
you don't get ALL pink flowers from the seeds you sow as poppies often
revert to whatever color is "normal" with their species. Whatever colors
appear, I bet you'll love 'em -- good luck & enjoy!

Marte in the mtns	Zone 4/Sunset 1  Colorado

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