Glaucium flavum

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Robert Pavlis

Glaucium flavum f. fulvum, by Robert Pavlis
Glaucium flavum f. fulvum

I don’t normally include biennials as a favorite plant since they are just too much trouble to keep going in a garden, but Glaucium flavum is going to be an exception. Besides large yellow or orange flowers, the horned poppy has one of the most unusual leaves I have ever seen.

Glaucium flavum f. fulvum, by Robert Pavlis
Glaucium flavum f. fulvum, by Robert Pavlis

The soft looking, blue-gray leaves are very unique and make a great addition to a rock garden. As a young plant it grows a rosette with leaves close to the ground, as pictured. As it gets older it becomes more upright. The plant likes a sandy, lean soil, but seems to also do well in normal garden soil.

I received my first plant as a small seedling from a friend. It didn’t grow very big, probably because it did not like being transplanted, as is the case with most poppies. It did flower, made a bit of seed, but never came back after the winter. Now, four years later, the plant in the picture showed up as a seedling from that original plant.

Glaucium flavum f. fulvum, by Robert Pavlis
Glaucium flavum f. fulvum, by Robert Pavlis

The plant in the picture is named Glaucium flavum var. aurantiacum or Glaucium flavum f. fulvum – both names are used. It looks exactly like Glaucium flavum except that the flowers are orange instead of yellow and is commonly called the orange horned poppy.

Plant Science for Gardeners by Robert Pavlis

Glaucium flavum has naturalized in several states and in Ontario. In Massachusetts it is classed as an invasive and is prohibited from sale. I have a couple of seedlings showing up each year, in unexpected locations.

Glaucium flavum f. fulvum closeup of leaves, by Robert Pavlis
Glaucium flavum f. fulvum, closeup of leaves, by Robert Pavlis

Glaucium flavum

(GLAH-see-um  FLA-vum)

Life Cycle: biennial (some say it is perennial)

Height: 30 cm (1 ft)

Bloom Time: starts mid-summer and flowers until frost

Natural Range: UK, Europe and Mediteranium

Habitat: costal beeches

Synonyms:  Glaucium luteum, Glaucium glaucium, Chelidonium glaucium

Cultivation of Glaucium flavum:

Light: full sun

Soil: well drained

Water: drought tolerant

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5 – 10

Propagation: seed

The following video showcases all of the favorite plants for 2015:

YouTube video

If you can’t see the above video, use this link instead: https://youtu.be/GbLlQgn0vLs

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Robert Pavlis

I have been gardening my whole life and have a science background. Besides writing and speaking about gardening, I own and operate a 6 acre private garden called Aspen Grove Gardens which now has over 3,000 perennials, grasses, shrubs and trees. Yes--I am a plantaholic!

0 thoughts on “Glaucium flavum”

  1. I have had Glaucium corniculatum growing tall in the back of my rock garden for a number of years – think the seed came from AGS. The leaves are quite lovely, I agree. Fran Howey

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