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GLAUCIDIUM palmatum

Image of Glaucidium palmatum

Family

Ranunculaceae

Botanical Name

GLAUCIDIUM palmatum

Plant Common Name

Japanese Wood Poppy, Pygmy Owl

General Description

A subdued but beautiful perennial for shade, Japanese wood poppy has large, coarse, palm-shaped leaves and white or pink poppy-like flowers that appear in spring or early summer. As its name suggests, it is Japanese in origin and thrives in the cool, moist, wooded, alpine regions there. Don't attempt to grow this beauty where summers are extremely hot and humid; it tends to flag and grow poorly under these conditions. It's common name suggests it's a poppy, but Glaucidium is actually in the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae.

Coarse, maple-like leaves of deep green cover low, bushy, herbaceous plants that slowly spread via rhizomes to form substantial clumps. The leaves have substantial venation and offer visual appeal even when Japanese wood poppy is no longer in bloom. Bloom time depends on geographic location, but the white or rosy pink four-petaled flowers typically bud and open in late spring or early summer. Insects pollinate the blooms and inconspicuous fruits follow.

Woodland alpines such as this thrive in light shade and fertile soil with good drainage. Maintain a neutral to slightly acid soil pH for best growth. Plants take several years to flower from seed, so if purchased as a small plant don't expect flowers for at least two years. Young plants are also delicate and may require extra care and protection before they reach a substantial size. Plant Japanese wood poppy in any cool shaded garden or alpine bed where its lush foliage and sweet flowers can shine.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 8

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer

  • Native To

    Japan

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Pink, Rose

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Alpine, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes