Horned poppy, or sea poppy, is a native of maritime Europe, North Africa, and eastern Asia. It is also naturalized in parts of North America. Although each flower only lasts a day, the succession of bloom lasts for several weeks.
Description of Horned Poppy: Several branched stems grow from a rosette of leaves. The crinkly, gray-green leaves also appear on the stems and below each flower. The golden-yellow flowers are open and about 2 inches in diameter. Occasionally, there are orange or red flowers. The roots of the horned poppy are poisonous.
Growing Horned Poppy: Horned poppies need to be grown in full sun in well-drained soil. Space 12 to 18 inches apart. The easiest way to grow them is seeding where they are to bloom and thinning them to the desired spacing.
Propagating Horned Poppy: By seed. Glaucium can be grown as a biennial by sowing seeds in the ground the previous fall. For earlier bloom, sow indoors 8 to 10 weeks prior to planting in the garden, after danger of frost has passed. Germination takes 8 to 15 days at 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Transplant the seedlings to individual pots when three leaves have formed, but before the taproot has developed. Then transplant to the garden without disturbing the root system.
Uses for Horned Poppy: Plant in clusters in mid-border or grow them at the sides. Use them at the end of a path, or at the corners of beds. The contrast of the gray-green foliage should be mixed with other greens, including chartreuse. The dramatic seedpods can be used in dried arrangements.
Horned Poppy Related Species: A showy, red-flowered species is Glaucium grandiflorum, native to the Middle East. The poppies are large and held well above the olive-green foliage.
Scientific Name of Horned Poppy: Glaudium flavum