Celandine Poppy Is No Shrinking Violet
There’s a lot of Celandine Poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum) in our garden and they’re blooming right now. Some people will warn you that this plant is too aggressive. On the other hand, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center calls it “… a fine species to grow in Eastern wildflower gardens, far less aggressive than the introduced European species.”
There’s a lot of nice things I can say about Celandine Poppy. I love its bright yellow color and the deeply lobed leaves. Native to woodlands from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin as well as the Upper South, it’s a tough plant that tolerates shade and requires no coddling.
It does seed itself around with great enthusiasm. I have two really big patches of Celandine Poppy. There’s a lot of it in the East Bed, which you can see above. But we’ve got it growing in shadier spots all over the garden.
A couple of years ago it was all over the Driveway Border. I got nervous and dug a lot of it out, but I wish now that I hadn’t. Celandine Poppy grows to only about 18″ and dies back somewhat in the heat of summer, at least in our garden (it will revive in September). It’s really no threat to taller plants that bloom later in the season.
Other assertive spring wildflowers like Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum) can also handle themselves just fine around Celandine Poppy. However, it can overwhelm more delicate or diminutive plants, especially spring ephemerals like Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis). When Celandine Poppy encroaches on such plants, it should be firmly removed.
Here’s another big patch on the west side of the back porch.
So in my view, we should not fear the Celandine Poppy. Just don’t plant it in a formal garden. Instead, match it with equally tough wildflowers, and it will bring abundant cheer to your spring garden.
Have you grown Celandine Poppy in your garden?