Friday, April 14, 2023

The life cycle of a Mexican poppy

I've always wanted to draft a blog on wildflowers, but some other feat of nature - like rain or even snow in the desert - inevitably grabs my attention...  

A while back, I did highlight a few wildflowers in my timely "Good Weeds vs. Bad Weeds" blog.  

But this season we've been blessed with some really spectacular wildflowers - nourished by, not one, but two days of SNOW in our desert town!

Thanks to Jared from Spadefoot Nursery for identifying this native Lacy Sleepy Daisy that is growing along our sidewalk.

The native globe mallow is really showing off it's (orange) colors in our jujube basin! 

Here's how it looks before it flowers - so you don't mistake it for a weed and pick it....

But I'd say the true star of our neighborhood has got to be the Mexican poppy... So I thought I'd do a quick blog about it while it's still around to enjoy!

If you see this plant in your yard, leave it. It's not a weed. 

It won't be long before your Mexican poppy starts to bud...

Please, don't spray Roundup on it... 

like the neighbor who sprayed Roundup right next door

 to the cute toddler who gathers flowers in the neighborhood. 😒

Does this look better than a flower?

Or the bees that I saw pollinating the poppies in my yard! 

If you leave them pods will grow....

Soon after pollination, the petals and stamens fall off, leaving the central cylindrical pointed seed capsule. It elongates as it fills with seed, turning from green to tan with maturity. Pods open explosively, splitting longitudinally and ejecting the seeds up to 6 feet away from the mother plant. 

How fun is that!?

Then the birds eat the seeds and spread them through the neighborhood...

Can't wait for next year to see all the pretty poppies. Well... not in that one neighbor's yard... Oh, you know what I mean!

FYI I just learned from Spadefoot Nursery how to tell a Mexican poppy from an Arizona Poppy...

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