Papaver (Poppy) pah-PAY-ver
Iceland Poppies are short-lived perennials, native to subpolar regions of northern Europe and North America, that usually self-seed and come back year after year. Plants form a low tuft of light green leaves, bearing large, satiny, lightly fragrant flowers on hairy stems. The bowl-shaped flowers last for weeks on end, in a range of shades including cream, yellow, salmon, orange, pink and red. Removing faded flowers will encourage more buds to form. Allow at least a few flowers to set seed for future generations. Drought tolerant once established. Excellent for cutting, if picked just as the buds begin to open.
When planting poppies, be aware that the aboveground growth dies back in summer when the plant goes dormant. This can leave gaps in your planting bed, so design around the poppies accordingly. Good companions that will fill in after poppies die back include black-eyed Susan, daylily, catmint and phlox.