Purple Poppy Mallow, Callirhoe involucrata

Purple Poppy Mallow

Callirhoe involucrata

Benefits:
Sun Shade:
Bloom Time: Spring
Zones: 3, 4, 5
Soil Conditions: Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil Moisture: Dry, Medium
Color: Pink, Purple
Fragrance: No
Height: 1 foot
Spacing: 3 feet

Description

Purple Poppy Mallow (Callirhoe involucrata) is a mat-forming perennial which most frequently occurs in dryish, rocky soils in prairies, fields and along roadsides. Plants typically form a low foliage mound from 6-9 inches tall on procumbent stems which spread along the ground to 3 feet wide. Solitary, upward facing, cup-shaped, five-petaled, poppy-like, magenta flowers continuously appear on thin stems above the foliage from mid-spring to fall. Stamens form a prominent central column typical of mallow family members, but with distinctive style branches. Leaves are palmately divided into 5-7 finger-like lobes.

The blooming period occurs from late spring to late summer and lasts about 1-2½ months. The flowers are replaced by carpels that are arranged together like a ring. These carpels are flattened and reniform (kidney-shaped) with short hairy beaks. The flattened sides of the carpels are reticulated, rather than smooth. Each carpel contains a single seed. This wildflower spreads by reseeding itself.

Habitats include dry prairies, areas along railroads and roadsides, and abandoned fields. In these habitats, the ground vegetation is relatively low and sparse.

Purple Poppy Mallow has masses of chalice shaped magenta flowers on trailing, deeply lobed foliage. Excellent as a ground cover, each plant can spread up to three feet in width. It looks great trailing over a wall.

Easily grown in dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Grows well from seed and may self-seed in the garden in optimum growing conditions. Long tap root gives plant good drought tolerance but makes transplanting of established plants difficult.

Plant Notes and Herbal Uses
  Good native ground cover.
  Very drought tolerant with a long tap root.
  The taproot is edible and can be used as emergency food by humans.
Further Information

 Wisconsin Fruit Trees
 Wisconsin Edible Berry Shrubs
 Widsconsin Edible Plants-Eat On The Wild Side
 8 Dandelion Recipes
 Wisconsin Native Plant Nurseries