Wood Poppy and Mistaken Identity

May 19, 2007


Imagine my horror, several years ago, when I believed the invasive weed I was pulling up around my home is in fact a rare and endangered species. Ack!!!

The problem with the ROM site above, and many other sites, is that they do not point out a critical piece of information about the Wood Poppy that should go something like this.

WARNING: the Wood Poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum), an endangered species, is almost indistinguishable from the Celandine Poppy (Chelidonium majus), an invasive weed.

The picture above is indeed a Wood Poppy, the endangered kind. I have about 8 plants in my garden (purchased from garden centers) and they are absolutely beautiful. I continue to struggle with the Celandine Poppy which is a pest and a half. It looks nice this time of year too (kind of a stunted version of the Wood Poppy) but it quickly takes over and grows almost anywhere.