Tardy Wildflower Wednesday: Celandine Poppy

Gail over at Clay and Limestone hosts Wildflower Wednesday on the fourth Wednesday of the month. I’ve been travelling and forgot about this, but I’m not too embarrassed to bring up the rear with a tardy post.

Celandine Poppy
Celandine Poppy

I don’t know about you, but it does me good as I hunker down for winter to think about cheerful spring flowers. One of the most cheerful, to my mind, is Celandine Poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum). This is a native of moist woods in Eastern North America.

Celandine poppy has four-petaled, bright yellow flowers. It blooms in April and May in my garden, which makes it good for combining with grape hyacinths. It has interesting leaves – deeply lobed, with a slightly downy look and a nice blue-green color. There is occasional re-bloom in cool weather. The plant makes interesting nodding seedheads.

Cellandine poppy blooming with grape hyacinths.
Celandine poppy blooming with grape hyacinths.

This is a flower that is easy to grow and requires no coddling. Some people consider it to be a thug. That has not been my experience, though it does self-sow moderately. The seedlings are easy to transplant. Celandine poppy is not really a poppy, and is unrelated to the invasive Ranunculus poppies.

The foliage will die back in hot summers. When this happens, it sufficient to cut the leaves back and you will get new growth before too long.

If you’re looking for something with yellow blooms for spring that can tolerate some shade (and you’re tired of daffodils), Celandine Poppy is worth considering.

32 Comments on “Tardy Wildflower Wednesday: Celandine Poppy

  1. Very very nice! I’ve never really planted poppies until a few weeks ago (the seedlings are quite small but they germinated!) Hopefully they will continue to grow!

  2. Yes, I agree, it helps to think about spring flowers during this gray time of year. Thanks for the recommendation–it is really lovely with the Grape Hyacinths.

  3. That sounds like a good one for the edge of our woodland strip, must see if I can find seeds at our local seed merchant, thanks.

  4. I think the bright yellow spot would look nice near to crocuses in spring.
    I don’t know if these poppies are hardy enough.

  5. I love “thugs” with beautiful yellow flowers! How I wish I could grow poppies in Malaysia. I tried growing a “Shirley Poppy” from a commercial seed packet and it turned out to be a weed that grows and grows on foliage and stems but no flowers 😦

  6. Thanks for the suggestion–I’ve never grown celadine poppies before, but they look like a great addition for the spring garden. The grape hyacinths are a perfect companion for them!

    P.S., I’m even later than you for WW:)

  7. Planted like a hedge on that picture is very beautiful and goes very well with those purple flowers. I only saw grape hyacinth just once in the mountains of Ibradi, Turkey, and i really love it.

  8. The Celandine poppies look great with such a nice clumping form! I am tempted… Flowers that go dormant in heat are great in the Pacific Northwest, they go well with the wet and dry seasons.

    Another cheerful early spring yellow flower is annual Meadowfoam, Limnanthes douglasii, which look like eggs. Mine has cautiously reseeded, in fact this year I saw the new seedlings come up in the fall so I’m curious if they can make it to spring. If so they will bloom a lot earlier, last year the ones I started under lights bloomed long before the ones that self-sowed in the garden.

    • Huh, never heard of meadowfoam. I’ll bet the Celandine poppies would love your area. They might love it too much, though, maybe you should ask people you know if they’ve tried it.

  9. Hi there!
    Thanks for your post!
    Do you know what it may mean if my celandine’s leaves are yellowing?
    Thanks!

    • Hi Rikki. Celandine Poppy foliage frequently starts to die back in summer. You can let it slowly die back or cut it back now. Fresh foliage will then emerge. It doesn’t mean anything is wrong with the plant.

      • Ok, thanks.
        I have some that looks dark green and great in ground, and another in a pot right next to it (pot was original, and over a couple years reseeded into surrounding land)….the plant in pit is the yellowing one only. Think something’s wrong? Prone to lacking any particular nutrients if potted?
        Thanks.

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