A smooth, bluish-green plant with several stems, fern-like leaves, and usually orange flowers borne singly on a long stalk.
On sunny days in spring, California Poppies, the state flower, often turn hillsides orange. Responsive to sunlight, the flowers close at night and on cloudy days. The spicy fragrance attracts mainly beetles, which serve as pollinators. Flowers produced early in the season tend to be larger than those later on. There are other species in California, but none has the conspicuous pink rim at the base of the ovary.
The genus is named after Dr. J.F. Eschscholtz who lived from 1793 to 1831. He performed duties as a surgeon and naturalist with Russian expeditions to the Pacific coast from 1816 to 1964.
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