(My buddy Otter does a thing at her blog called “Stuff in my Tank” where, every now and again, she posts a photo and description of random interesting stuff in her saltwater tank. I am stealing this lock, stock, and barrel. We’ll see how it goes.)
This gorgeous native wildflower is also called “wood poppy,” but my favorite name is “poppywort” because poppywort is just such a great word and sounds like the name of a mistreated scullion in a fantasy novel who will eventually rise to save the kingdom, unicorn optional. The “celandine” is because it resembles a non-native weed named celandine, muddying the waters of taxonomy nicely. And getting a “wort” on the end usually means stuff is medicinal, but so far as I know, the poppywort does nothing exciting other than look pretty.
It looks very very pretty, though.
It’s uncommon but occurs throughout most of the East. It’s endangered in Canada but not down here–yet–so I can feel good about growing it without feeling horribly guilty if it it dies. (I have avoided growing trillium because it’s too nerve-wracking. If a pot of something from Home Depot dies in the ground, eh, whatever, that’s life. If an endangered trillium dies in my yard, I feel like I just kicked a passenger pigeon.) Fortunately, not a problem with poppywort!
It is very yellow. The photo looks oversaturated, but it really is that crazy radioactive-lemon shade. I planted it in my shade border, which is currently a full-sun border, but is turning into a dappled-shade border as the leaves come in on the trees. Apparently this is the right condition to grow this plant–it does all the growing while the trees are bare, and then hangs out in the shade going “I’m a plant. Yup. Still a plant. Good to be a plant.” It’s already doubled in size since I put it in the ground a month ago, and it’s been flowering non-stop. It’s very low-maintenance so far.
Under the right conditions, it’s supposed to self-seed, which I’d be fine with, but I suspect it won’t be moist enough to actually take.
I know you can order them from Niche Gardens by mail–I picked mine up there on a whim, on the way to check out, because the yellow was just so crazy bright. Presumably it’s commercially available elsewhere as well. So far, I’m quite happy with it–we’ll see if it actually returns next spring, of course.