Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener
PAPAVER orientale 'Watermelon'
Dazzling stalwarts of the late spring and early summer perennial border, oriental poppies are selections or hybrids of the West Asian native Papaver orientale. Named for the luscious rosy pink hue of its enormous flowers, 'Watermelon' departs from the brash tones of most oriental poppies. Large black blotches decorate the flower's center.
Remarkable not only for their form and color but also for their crinkled tissue-like texture, the glorious bowl-shaped flowers open from fat globular buds atop tall prickly stems. The petals surround a large knob-like ovary crowned by a scalloped black-purple stigmatic disk. The fruit is a capsule comprising the ovary and disk. The bristly, green, deeply dissected leaves form neat rosettes that hug the ground. The foliage dies back in early summer, re-emerging in fall.
Give oriental poppies full sun or light shade and well-drained average soil. Stake the stems if they flop. Divide during their summer dormancy, or in early spring. In the landscape these old-fashioned perennials look super in just about any sunny border, particularly in cottage and heirloom gardens. Surround them with late-blooming or robust perennials that can cover the visual and spatial gap their summer dormancy creates. They are also beautiful in bouquets, provided they are cut early in bloom and the cut ends are boiled or seared.
9 - 1
3 - 9
A1, A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21
Full Sun, Partial Sun
26"-30" / 66.0cm - 76.2cm
18"-30" / 45.7cm - 76.2cm
Late Spring, Early Summer
Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Green, Gray Green
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