Wood Poppy

Stylophorum diphyllum

SUMMARY

Also known as Celandine Poppy (not to be confused with Greater Celandine), this woodland wildflower adds a bit of much needed sunshine in very early spring! Buttery yellow flowers with large overlapping petals have a frilly center that gives it a showy appearance. It has a lovely mounded shape and will reseed itself freely in the landscape. Favoring consistently moist soil and shadier conditions, it is often found along streams or woodland edges. With a tendency to go dormant by mid-summer, the foliage can persist longer if provided enough moisture and protection from harsh afternoon sun.

DETAILS

Other Common Names: Celandine Poppy

Family: Papaveraceae

USDA Zones: 4 – 9

Life Cycle: Herbaceous Perennial

Height: 1.00′ – 1.50′

Spread: 0.75′ – 1.00′

Sun: Part Shade – Full Shade

Soil: Rich Humus, Woodland, Streambank, Well-Draining, Acidic

Moisture: Medium – Wet (Not Boggy)

Bloom Time: March – June

Bloom Color: Sunny Yellow

Uses: Naturalize, Rain Garden, Woodland Garden

Native Range: BONAP Map

Native Range Color Key: Dk. Green = Present in State and Native, Lt. Green= Present and Not Rare, Yellow = Present and Rare, Gold = Not Present in State, Teal = Present and Exotic, Cross-Hatched = Questionable Presence

NOTEWORTHY CHARACTERISTICS

  • Reseeds readily; produces up to 2,000 seeds per year
  • Generally not considered aggressive
  • Inadequate moisture may cause leaves to droop/wither away by summer
  • Moderate grower; seedlings bloom in their second year
  • Deer & rabbit resistant; foliage unpalatable to most mammalian herbivores
  • Black Walnut juglone tolerant
  • Lime tolerant
  • Flowers have no nectar; can be self-pollinating
  • Listed as threatened in Canada
  • Stems contain yellow sap historically used by Native Americans as a dye
  • Frequently confused with invasive Greater Celandine (Chelidonium majus). Easiest to identify by comparing seed pods: Greater Celandine forms long, thin, green seed pods, Celandine Poppy has plump, greenish-yellow, hairy ones. For more comparisons, here is a helpful resource.

FAUNAL ASSOCIATIONS

  • Flies & bees may visit blossoms
  • Chipmunks & woodland mice eat seeds
  • Ants aid in seed dispersal through myrmecochory

PESTS/DISEASES

No serious pests or diseases.

PLEASE NOTE: Like all native plants, Celandine Poppy may be an important food source for many creatures. Some years they may be more affected by insects than others. However, these insects provide essential food for birds and other wildlife as part of a balanced, intricate food web. Instead of reaching for pesticides at the first sign of leaf damage, consider grabbing your magnifying glass or binoculars and observe what visitors are frequenting your amazing native plant!

A CLOSER LOOK

March 16, 2020 – Wood Poppies emerge before the leaves unfurl on the trees. Enduring multiple late season freezes, new growth pushes above the soil.
April 8, 2020 – Large golden yellow flowers can measure 1.5″ – 2″ across. They have four bowl-shaped petals that often overlap. Many stamens form a dense, frilly ring around the ovary that gives the blossom a showy look. The flowers can be borne singly or in a small umbel.
Beautiful pale blue-green foliage is glabrous (hairless) on the surface. The undersides of mature leaves are silvery with light pubescence. Petioles are up to 4″ long and can be sparsely hairy.
June 26, 2020 – Fading foliage during a summer drought.

COMPANION PLANTS

Wood Poppy tends to go dormant or may look tired especially during hot, dry summers. Planting other part-shade to shade-loving perennials around it is a great solution to that potential issue. In this way, the fading foliage can be hidden by other plants to promote year round interest in your landscape. Visit Carolyn’s Shade Garden to see Wood Poppy in a beautiful garden setting.

In order to provide the maximum benefit to pollinators, it is best to plan for a succession of blooms. This ensures that as one species fades, another begins to blossom. In this way, a constant source of nectar and pollen is provided from spring through fall. The following natives enjoy similar growing conditions to Stylophorum diphyllum :

  • Fringed Loosestrife – Lysimachia ciliata
  • Tall Meadow Rue – Thalictrum pubescens
  • Blue Cohosh – Caulophyllum thalictroides
  • Eastern Skunk Cabbage – Symplocarpus foetidus
  • Virginia Bluebells – Mertensia virginica
  • White Turtlehead – Chleone glabra
  • Jewelweed – Impatiens capensis or pallida
  • Eastern Columbine – Aquilegia canadensis
  • White Snakeroot – Ageratina altissima
  • Woodland Phlox – Phlox divaricata
  • Northern Sea Oats – Chasmanthium latifolium
  • Sensitive Fern – Onoclea sensibilis

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