Macleaya cordata , otherwise known as Plume Poppy, is a larger perennial shrub that we like to use as a backdrop against houses, or to fill corners and backs of planting beds.
In the Austin area, this plant can get from 5-8 feet tall, with a spread of 2-4 feet. It is relatively low maintenance, taking full sun to part shade with medium water needs. The blooms, as seen above, can get up to 12” long in an elongated branched structure, and can be seen from mid to late summer, like a puff of smoke. When not in bloom, the large blue/silver scalloped leaves provide aesthetic interest, as their airy nature creates dramatic shadows very pleasing to the eye. One potential downside to this plant is that if planted in optimal conditions, it is known to spread somewhat aggressively via rhizomes, hence why we say it’s best in contained spaces.