The Matilija Poppy

Topics: Flower, Flowers, Seed Pages: 1 (420 words) Published: October 16, 2010
The Matilija Poppy also known as, the Romneya couteri, is an erect flower growing up to eight feet tall that is heavy branched and woody at the base. The white flowers are the largest of any plant native to California, and resemble fried eggs. There are five to eight crinkled petals per stem with many yellow stamens and a single large pistil. The unique flower was discovered in California in 1831 by an Irish surgeon-botanist, Thomas Coulter and the first seeds reached England in 1875 and by late Victorian times it had become a prized garden performer and sold as a garden specimen. The genus name, Romneya, is in honor of the Irish astronomer Dr. Thomas Romney Robinson who worked with Thomas Coulter. Found native in southern California and northern Mexico, the poppy, is well adapted to harsh conditions. They require a simple maintenance of moderate watering and kept out full in the sunshine. Poppies do best in cool climates; they are both a cultivated flower and an energetic wildflower. Although they are perennials, they often grow as annuals throughout Europe, the Orient and the Americas. The poppy is also known as the state flower of California. The Matilija poppies slowly begin to grow through the fall and winter, and suddenly in May, ruptures into bloom. They germinate in the spring and produce by July and sometimes even earlier. As the plant grows, their ovaries fills with seeds and then die all in the same year creating it to be an annual flower. The flower relies on the seed production to sustain their population. Producing 16,500 large seeds per plant, the flower can live dominant for a long period of time. Poppies have been used for centuries in both seasoning and medicine. Tea from poppies has been used for calming, also to lessen pain and cramps. Water made from poppies is said to remove wrinkles and freshen the skin and works well as inflammation caused by an allergic reaction, chemical irritation, heat rash, or mild burns or sunburns. They can...
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