May 11, 2011

Wine Cups Runneth Over the Garden

Callirhoe involucrata (Poppy Mallow or Wine Cups)
blooms resemble California Poppies.
A cascading perennial that blooms all summer is a delight indeed. Add low-maintenance, full sun and drought-tolerance and the "got to try it" score is even higher.

Dainty, delicate wine-red cups of callirhoe involucrata (Poppy Mallow or Wine Cups)  opening on lacy foliage give little indication that this plant that can take on hot conditions in zones 3-9. With a long taproot, try to plant this perennial in a permanent location. The seeds can self-sow in the garden, so watch out if the behavior is unwanted or your garden will runneth over with the wine cups! I've yet to have this problem because...
I've got rabbits! Added in summer 2010, I first planted the wine cups on the path side of the stream-side garden bed. However, the rabbits munched it down to almost nothing! Disappointed, I moved the plant so that it tumbles toward the water—a precarious place for rabbits unless they have acrobatic talent. As an extra precaution, I've been spraying rabbit repellent on the plant.
Companions to wine cups (front, left) include:
salvia farinacea 'Victoria Blue' (front, right)
salvia greggii 'Diane' (left, behind wine cups)

The color of the blooms works so well with the other players in my cottage garden. The wine cups scramble over my ground-cover thyme and around purple sedum, lamb's ear, salvia farinacea 'Victoria Blue' and salvia greggii 'Diane'. The 'Diane' bloom color is a near-perfect match to the wine cups. Soon, the gaillardia 'Grape Sensation' blooms will open to add another splash of wine to the monochromatic matches.

The bloom not only looks like a Eschscholzia californica (California poppy), but behaves the same way with blooms closed in early morning only to open up as the day warms; then closing again for the night.

This Missouri native wildflower makes a pretty cottage, rock, or xeric garden plant that's worth keeping the rabbits away. I'm committed to doing my best to protect the blooms for enjoyment from now until autumn frosts!




"Wine cups" blooms begin in May; zone 7b with full sun.
The native wildflower perennial blooms off and on until autumn frosts.

Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel. Deer and rabbit resistance varies based upon the animal population and availability of food. All company or product or patented names mentioned are registered trademarks, copyrights, or patents owned by those respective companies or persons.

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Defining Your Home, Garden & Travel

Home, garden and travel tips by Freda Cameron

Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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