Papaver rhoeas Angels Choir
2010-05-11. Papaver rhoeas ‘Angel’s Choir’. Austin, TX.

May 11th, 2010
Papaver rhoeas ‘Angels’ Choir’

One of my favorite flower tales is of the Rev. W. Wilkes, the Vicar of Shirley, whose keen observation and tenacious dedication is responsible for the Shirley poppy. He tells how “in the summer (I think) 1879 or 1880 I noticed in a wilderness corner of my garden among a patch of field poppies, one bloom with a narrow white edge”. He selected and selected over generations of descendants until he had obtained a strain of poppies with white edges and petals of pale pinks, mauves, and lilacs from the ordinary red corn poppy.

Papaver rhoeas Angels Choir

Papaver rhoeas Angels Choir

Papaver rhoeas Angels Choir

Papaver rhoeas Angels Choir

Over the years his single-flowering poppy was further selected for double poppies. On January 27, 2010 (a bit late) I planted the strain ‘Angels’ Choir’ from Renee’s Garden Seeds. The seed packet describes the ‘Angel’s Choir’ strain as an “award-winning combination of silken-petaled, double poppies featur[ing] shimmering watercolor shades including cream, apricot, peach, coral, lavender, pink and bicolors and picotees. It took breeders years of selection to develop these absolutely magical forms and lustrous soft colors”.

Going Rogue. Or Rouge

Following generations of work by those who carefully selected only the most delicate colors, I feel that I must dutifully rogue out the red and orange flowers. Although I like the clear hues, they really clash with the more delicate ones. Anyway, I can enjoy them inside.

Papaver rhoes Angels Choir