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Iceland Poppy

Though Iceland poppies are true perennials, they are usually grown as annuals or biennials. The sweet-scented blossoms sit atop two foot stems that rise from low-growing, clumped foliage. The blossoms are abundant and brilliant, and create a striking display. The petals have a crinkled silk appearance, and come in shades of yellow, white, orange and pale red. Most are single forms, but semi-doubles are sometimes seen.

Iceland Poppies make excellent cut flowers. Cut them just before they open, and sear the bottom of the stems over an open flame, then place them in warm water (about 100° F). The seed pods dry well and look good in arrangements.

Iceland poppies thrive in Zones 2-10 and must be started from seeds. Sow seeds in early spring in zones Zones 2-7. Sow in late summer or fall in zones 8-10 for spring blooms. Space plants 8-10 inches apart. If you plan to broadcast them, they should be sown thinly, and this is sometimes easier if you mix the seeds with sand.