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02/08/2021

Kildare's Wildlife Watch: The mystery bloom blossoming in my garden

With the Irish Peatland Conservation Council

Kildare's Wildlife Watch: The mystery bloom blossoming in my garden

Is this a peony poppy?

Early last week a lovely pink flower burst into bloom in one of my flower beds – well, when I describe it as a flower bed, it is actually a used car tyre that I converted into a flower bed! What is interesting about this flower is I did not plant or spread seeds for it to grow in my garden.

I have never come across this ornamental flower before and my best suggestion is the seeds were possibly dropped in my garden by a visiting bird.

Not being familiar with this flower, I had to turn on the computer and complete a Google search to help with identification and I now believe it to be a peony poppy — maybe someone reading this has this flower in their garden and might be able to confirm identification?

It is a very attractive flower reaching a height of about 80 cm tall with large clusters of pink flowers with crinkled petals.

My online search also suggests it will flower until August. The peony poppy is not native to Ireland but is considered an ornamental plant for gardens.

It is actually quite appropriate to write about this ornamental flower this week as a concerned member of our community contacted me during the week in relation to my article on rhododendron, drawing to my attention that there are many varieties of rhodendendron species and not all are considered invasive.

There are a number of ornamental species growing in both my garden and yours and I want to clarify that there is no problem with this as they provide for us an attractive visual display, a habitat for wildlife and a place to relax. How we can help protect our natural world from these ornamental species escaping our gardens is how we manage our garden clippings; by disposing of them safely using our brown bins or for larger volumes at our local civic amenity site.

If you would like help identifying local wildlife or indeed to share your images of local wildlife encountered to be used in a future Wildlife Watch, contact me on 045 860133 or bogs@ipcc.ie.

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