It’s a peony, it’s a poppy, it’s purple and it’s black. Papaver paeoniflorum ‘Black Peony’ is also Papaver somniferum Paeoniflorum group, which really just boils down to a subtype of opium poppy with flowers that are “highly double” and come in many colors. ‘Black Peony’ is a deep purple that in some light looks black, while in other light it can look like a rich purple. No matter which way, this poppy is one of the most elegant when the bloom opens. The ruffled flowers sits atop 2 to 3 foot tall plants and last for up to three days before the petals start to fall off. This heirloom traces its roots back to before written history, with images of opium poppies found in Sumerian artifacts, dated around 4,000 B.C. It looks good for being so old, doesn’t it?
This week we are featuring heirlooms grown by The Heirloom Garden of Maine in Montville.