|Note the single yellow flowers and the fuzzy, drooping seed pod.|
The newest native addition to my garden is the Celandine Poppy, Stylophorum diphyllum. It is a Midwestern native, but I have seen it growing in gardens here in the northeast where its large, clear yellow flowers and light blue-green foliage brighten up a shady spot. It is a mid-spring bloomer. Another reason I was interested in knowing this plant is its similarity to the introduced and quite weedy Greater Celandine, Chelidonium majus, a Eurasian native.
Anyone who has pulled up either of these plants has seen the bright yellow or orange juice that can stain clothes. So that does not help distinguish the plants. The leaves are different, but both are deeply lobed and of the same general color. The easiest way I see to distinguish these plants is with the flowers and seed pods. The native Celandine poppy has large (nearly 2 inches) yellow flowers, borne singly, which matures to a single fuzzy pod that droops toward the ground.
|Note the upright seedpods |
of Greater Celandine
The plants have only been in for a week in a shady area that maintains slightly moist soil. Now we’ll see how it performs over the rest of the summer and how it looks when it comes back next year.
Since there are no natural populations of Celandine Poppy in Massachusetts, I’m sure I did not damage any native plants, but still it’s good to know how to tell these plants apart, especially now that I have some in the ground.