The Q&A Archives: mitillaha/romneya/couteri

Question: I hve been trying to get info on this poppy-like flower. It has large white paper like petals and yellow middle. I saw it up north and bought a plant but have not been able to find any info. I was given the 3 names above and have searched under each without success.
Can you help me?

Answer: The Matilija Poppy (Romneya Conlteri) is a native of the Southwestern States, Mexico and California in particular, but with proper care, it can be grown equally well in the Northern and Eastern States. The flowers greatly resemble a large, white single Peony. It is as large, being 4 inches to 6 inches in diameter, and has a mass of golden yellow stamens in the center of the pure white, crumpled petals. The leaves are bluish-green and are very deeply cut. This Poppy is a semishrub and grows from 4 feet to 6 feet high, spreading out each year until large clumps are formed. The flowers come into bloom about the end of June and last until the first of September; they are borne singly on long stems, each stem having from six to twelve or fifteen blooms. The individual flowers last about three days and have a delightful Primrose-like perfume.

These plants should be planted in warm, porous, sandy loam on a southern exposure. The soil should be free from stagnant moisture or water at all times, and especially so during the dormant season in Wintertime. Before the heavy frosts penetrate to the roots, they should be heavily mulched. After the plants are once established, they should be left strictly alone; even cultivation around the roots seems detcrimental. Like herbaceous perennials, the stems die to the ground each year and the flowers are borne on the new growth which comes each Spring.

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