Spring can arrive early in Central Texas. The bluebonnets will soon appear, the Indian Paintbrushes, Evening Primrose and Indian Blankets are on their way. My garden is full of poppies, especially my beloved Dorothy Poppies. They are crowded in the vegetable garden just like Dorothy’s were. Several different kinds of poppies live happily in the garden including Red poppy, Papaver rhoeas, some white and lavender poppies, Dorothy poppies and California poppies, Eschscholzia californica which I will discuss today.
First of all, if you want lots of poppies in your garden you can plant them from seed in December and they will be one of the first to arrive in spring. Once you have them, let them go to seed and you will have them everywhere, forever. You can harvest some of the seeds from the delightful poppy seed pod (a very attractive seed pod often used in dried flower arrangements – come see them in my greenhouse), and use them for baking cookies and breads and give them away to friends. Those tiny seeds go a long way.
The red poppies seem to be a prolific grower here. The Dorothy poppy is a full double or triple petal, a gorgeous rosy pink and the most incredible, sweet, luscious flower. After some time the pom pom rosy poppy will revert back to a flat flower. How interesting!!! The Oriental poppies including the red, white, lavender and pink all contain a number of alkaloids with sedative and hypnotic properties. The latex, which exudes from the stem, is a narcotic and should be avoided.
The lovely little orange California poppy, Eschscholzia californica, is another perennial poppy that grows well here and the entire plant can be used as a sedative. This poppy does contain flavone glycocides but is not considered narcotic. The California poppy can be made into a tincture and used to relieve pain, as a sedative for insomnia, to help with anxiety, to allay diarrhea and to inhibit the cough reflex.
Many herbalists agree that California poppy, known as “nightcap” in the United States, can be used safely and gently as a sedative for sleeplessness, stress and tension and is often used for children. It blends well with other sedative herbs like Passionflower, Passiflora incarnata, Lemon Balm, Melissa officinalis and Valerian, Valeriana officinalis. Remember when using an herb for the first time to use just a little to test for any allergic or negative reactions. If you would like to give this potent tincture a try check out the California Poppy Tincture my website and purchase some today.
If you ever get an opportunity to visit the high desert areas of Southern California in the early springtime, you will be delighted to see hills full of bright orange flowers. When I lived in Southern California I would load up the kids in the car and visit these wildflowers every year. How lucky we are to be able to grow them in our gardens in Texas.
Enjoy this glorious weather, get out there and tend your garden and walk in nature enjoying its miraculous wonder.
With Warm Green Blessings,