Plants We Love: Plume Poppy (Macleaya cordata)

plume poppy (Macleaya cordata)Plant name: Plume poppy

Botanical name: Macleaya cordata (previously Bocconia cordata)

Virtues: Pretty flowers in mid- or late summer; great height and structure; large and interesting leaves. Great backdrop for other perennials.

Flowers: Tiny tubular flowers appear in clusters on tall stems in July and August. They’re colored pinkish or cream and create a plume-like effect.

Foliage: Gray- or olive-green leaves are large and vaguely heart shaped.

Habit: Tall, to 8 feet. Stems and branches create an interesting architecture and look pretty swaying in the wind.

Season: Summer.

Origin: China and Japan.

Cultivation: Best in full sun though it tolerates partial shade. Prefers moist soil with good drainage. It can spread by underground rhizomes if given the chance. If you grow it among other plants keep it in check by spading around it in the spring to break up the spreading roots. USDA Zones 3–8.

See Amanda Thompsen’s video homage to this plant

Read more Plants We Love.

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