This week I have chosen the tree poppy in the small garden, our guests can gaze at its beauty while having their drink or coffee outside on the terrace, or having a relaxing walk along the long border.
The Romneya coulteri (tree poppy) is a species of flowering plant in the poppy family. Native to southern California, it grows in dry canyons in chaparral and coastal sage scrub plant communities, sometimes in areas recently burned. It is a popular ornamental plant, kept for its large, showy flowers.
This is a shrub which may exceed 7 ft in height, its woody stem growing from a network of rhizomes. The grey-green, waxy-textured leaves are each divided into a few lance-shaped lobes, the blades growing up to 8 inches long. The inflorescence is a large, solitary flower with six crinkly white petals each up to 4 in long. At the centre of the flower is a cluster of many yellow stamens. The fruit is a bristly capsule, 1–2 inches long, containing many tiny seeds.
While beautiful, this plant often grows aggressively once planted. It spreads by underground rhizomes and can pop up several feet away from the original plant. Naturally, such a plant cannot be placed anywhere in the garden.
Words and photographs by Nadja
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