Poppies have been around for thousands of years. A poppy plant’s seeds can be stored away for a century and still germinate when planted in tilled soil and exposed to sunlight. Poppies are very versatile plants and can be grown as annuals, biennials and perennials. The perennial poppies include some of the rarest flowers in the world, with many on endangered plant lists.
Himalayan Blue Poppy (Meconopsis Betonicifolia)
The Himalayan blue poppy was first discovered by a French Catholic missionary. An herbaceous perennial woodland plant that grows best in well-drained, acidic soil, it is native to parts of Asia. This type of soil helps contribute to the Himalayan blue poppy’s brilliant, natural blue coloring. This poppy is cultivated best in environments with cool summers; because of the flower's thin, delicate petals, this plant needs protection from the wind and harsh sunlight. The Himalayan blue poppy grows to the height of 2 feet and blossoms with a stunning bright blue flower with orange stamen. Gardeners the world over seek this exotic blue flowering plant.
Sacramento Prickly Poppy (Argemone Pleiacantha ssp. Pinnatisecta)
The Sacramento prickly poppy is a rare herbaceous perennial plant that can have a life span of 10 to 15 years. This poppy was put on the endangered plant list in August 1989. Native to the Sacramento Mountains close to southeastern New Mexico, this poppy blossoms with pure white blooms with sunny yellow centers of stamens and are about 3 to 5 inches across. The stems and leaves of the plant leak a poisonous sap with an alkaline base if broken. Another deterrent to predators is the plant's sharp, tiny thistles that stick out all over the foliage of the poppy.
Oregon Bleeding Heart (Dicentra Formosa ssp. oregana)
The Oregon bleeding heart is a native perennial plant to lower montane coniferous forests in parts of California and Oregon State. This poppy buds in the spring months of April and May with heart-shaped rosy pink or white flowers. The plant's base has fern-like leaves with a dark green appearance. The Oregon bleeding heart can become an invasive plant if placed in a garden. This poppy is on the rare and endangered plant list of the California Native Plant Society.
Oriental Poppy ‘Aglaja’ (Papaver Orientale 'Aglaja')
The Papaver orientale ‘Aglaja’ is a very rare Oriental poppy that is a deciduous perennial plant. These flowers were bred in Germany by Helene Countess von Stein- Zeppelin. This poppy likes full sun and well-draining soil; it grows in a clump formation and reaches a height and width of 2 feet. This poppy has bushy, bristly leaves that are a dark green color. It blooms throughout the spring and summer. The plant grows elegant, lacy, pink, 6-inch diameter flowers that have cherry-red shade markings on each fluffy petal.