Kristin Schleiter is the NYBG’s Associate Vice President of Outdoor Gardens and Senior Curator. She oversees the wonderful gardening team that keeps our flowering gardens looking top notch, curates the herbaceous gardens and collections, and manages the curator of woody plants. She lives and gardens in Fairfield, CT.
As spring has turned to summer, so my attention has turned to the Native Plant Garden meadow. It changes daily now, with new plants offering their voices to the swelling chorus. One of my very favorites is Bush’s poppymallow, Callirhoe bushii. Set among fine grasses, golden tickseed, and brilliant white wild quinine, its white-eyed magenta cups demand attention.
Happy in average or dry soil, Bush’s poppymallow loves a sunny site and will flower throughout the summer and sporadically into the early fall. In our meadow, its loosely sprawling stems pop up through its neighbors, creating lovely and spontaneous living bouquets. It has seeded itself around gently, but editing is easy if you wish. All Callirhoe have taproots which makes them very drought tolerant, but also very difficult to move once established.
When the hot summer sun is blazing, pastel colors often seem to disappear in the sunny garden. With glowing color and charming habit, Bush’s poppymallow will help make your garden picture-ready all summer long.