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Types of Flowers
The poppy family (Papaveraceae) grows primarily in temperate and northern climates and botanists differ on the exact number of poppy genera and species.
Estimated range around the twenty genera and two hundred and fifty species marks. Flora of North America lists number of species and genera.
Consumer demand for garden poppies remains constant because of their adaptable, easy grow nature. They grow best in sunny, well drained areas. Depending on the species and planting schedule, their colorful flowers can bloom from spring through fall.
Most species are native poppies, however, the red or corn poppy (Papaver rhoeas), introduced from Europe, gained popularity as a symbol of war and peace. It now grows wild in many areas of North America.
Eschscholzia genus: all members are called California Poppies because they all are native California flowers.
The California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica), the California state flower pictured at the top of the page, extends its range across most of North America.
The Desert Poppy (Eschscholzia glyptosperma), another Eschscholzia species presented in picture two, has a range limited to the desert Southwest.
Prickly Poppies (genus Argemone): another wide spread native poppy genera, with over one dozen species.
The picture shows a red prickly poppy (Argemone sanguinea), also called a rose prickly poppy, a native of South Texas.
The nickname prickly refers to the plant's production of small spines to cover its leaves, stems, and fruits.
Oriental Poppy (Papaver orientale): large, bright flowers make them late spring and early summer blooming favorites.
The fourth picture shows the plant's classic reddish orange petals. Other varieties have been produced with shades from red to cream.
Oriental poppies are fairly easy to grow perennials. Getting them established in a garden is usually the most difficult growing task.
As a Middle-east plant in origin, it's logical that the plant needs sunny, well-drained soil, and occasional water to thrive. Add support if the plant grows exceedingly tall or the flower heads will droop.
Starting from seed means a two year wait for flowers. Those in a hurry can purchase starter plants.
After the growing season ends, trim the dead leaves and flower head if you do not want to naturally reseed, mulch for winter, and the growing cycle should start again in the spring.
© 2003-2011 Patricia A. Michaels