Uncommon Reseeding Annuals

A recent gardening article reminded me of two enchanting reseeding annuals that I’ve admired in friend’s gardens and INTENDED to add to mine.

I was fascinated when I first saw Snow-on-the-Mountain (Euphorbia marginata, Pictured above. Photo compliments of Select Seeds) at my friend, Gail’s garden in Albany, NY. The soft green leaves surrounded by wide white margins made a lovely statement in her mixed border. Snow-on-the-Mountain is a warm-weather annual that is native to prairies from Minnesota to Colorado to the southeastern U.S. It wants a sunny location and grows between 1’ – 3’ tall. Given it is in the Euphorbia family, its milky sap may cause skin irritation in some individuals.

I am equally enamored with Daucus dara, commonly known as ornamental carrot or Queen Anne’s Lace. Although related to the biennial Queen Anne’s Lace that graces wildflower fields, this showy annual shares none of the weediness of its cousin. Daucus sports large flowers that can be up to 8″ across. The flowers and developing buds, snuggled in a lacy collar of bracts, along with the ferny leaves, result in a graceful “see-through” plant. Daucus can be sown in early spring directly into mixed borders for a magical display.

A recently discovered heart-throb is Papavar rupifragum ‘Double Tangerine Gem’ (Photo GrowsOnYou.com) This perennial Spanish Poppy will be a new addition at Estabrook’s this spring. I’m fascinated by the combination of lush tangerine-orange flowers held above silvery blue, fern-like foliage. I can easily picture these dazzling blooms sprinkled among my mixed perennial beds. Spanish Poppies typically do not go dormant in summer (at least in cooler zones), unlike the foliage of Oriental poppies that quickly disintegrates shortly after blooming. Spanish Poppy thrives in full sun and well drained or gravelly soils. It starts blooming in late spring well into summer. Some resources describe it as a short-lived perennial, so allowing it to self-seed is a good insurance policy. You can purchase this unique poppy as a container grown plant or grow it from seed. Select Seeds (one of the top-rated mail order companies on The Garden Watchdog) offers packets.