These small-flowered plants grew wild in the backyard of my childhood home. As such, they seemed less interesting than the exotic annuals and perennials in the proper beds, and I took them for granted. Only years later, when I saw them on sale for $15 a plant, did I realize how valued they were in certain areas. (If the common dandelion did not re-seed and come back so prolifically, we’d be paying through the nose for those sunbursts of blooms and jagged leaves.) The common name of the celadon poppy seems to reference the gorgeous bright hue of the matte foliage – with its hints of silver and cooler shades of green. The stems and flower buds are coated in light-colored hairs, lending a textural highlight that offsets the smoothness of the foliage.
As mentioned, the flowers are small, but of the brightest and clearest yellow. Visiting friends often mistook them for buttercups, holding them up to their chins and asking if they liked butter. The plant had its own subtle defenses too, with a sap that ran somewhere between orange and yellow when any of the stems or buds were broken. It stained skin and clothing alike, a warning signal that belied any delicate appearances.Back to Blog