More Information About Glaucium
Glaucium is a genus of 25 species of easy-to-grow, drought-tolerant, heat-loving, deer-resistant poppy relatives (Papaveraceae) that are native to Europe, central and southwest Asia, and North America. The name glaucium derives from from the Latin "glaucous" meaning covered with a bluish-gray waxy coating or fine coat of hairs. The leaves of many species of glaucium are indeed attractively glaucous. But the genus name Glaucium has a second meaning, too. In Greek mythology, there were several figures who shared the name Glaucus, but the most famous was a fisherman who was turned into a sea creature and fell in love with the sea nymph, Scilla. This marine reference also fits, as many species of glaucium are located in coastal regions such as Turkey, Israel and Malta. The common name, horned poppy, comes from the long, curved, horn-like seed pod.
Some horned poppy species, such as Glaucium flavum, are invasive in certain climates but others are well-behaved garden perennials that self-sow in a restrained manner. Glaucium species are adapted to sandy, well-drained, nutrient-poor soils and hot, dry climates such as deserts, steppes, and Mediterranean shrublands. When grown in similar sites in the garden, horned poppy will grow into a nice 3' x 3' clump of silvery, lobed foliage. In summer it produces an abundance of poppy-like flowers in bright, saturated colors including yellow, orange, and red. Deadheading helps increase floral production. When you are ready to buy glaucium for your garden, check out our online list of glaucium for sale.