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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Monday - March 09, 2015

From: Santa Rosa, CA
Region: California
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Indentification of yellow four-petaled plant in Sonoma County CA
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Yellow four-petaled plant - low to the ground. Along the coast of CA in Sonoma County (near Bodega Bay) Might be Frying Pan but I can't find a decent description or the botanical name to look it up. Thanks

ANSWER:

Eschscholzia lobbii (Frying pans) is a relative of Eschscholzia californica (California poppy).  Although E. lobbii is not shown to occur in Sonoma County, it is shown to occur in adjacent Napa and Mendocino Counties on the distribution map of the USDA Plants Database.

Both Eschscholzia caespitosa (Tufted poppy) and Eschscholzia californica (California poppy) occur in Sonoma County as shown on their respective USDA Plants Database distribution maps: (E. caespitosa) and (E. californica).

E. hypecoides (San Benito poppy) occurs in adjacent Mendocino County.

None of the other species in the Genus Eschscholzia (California poppies) listed by the USDA Plants Database occurs in, or adjacent to, Sonoma County.

You can see a key to the Genus Eschscholzia on the Flora of North America website and you can find a description of E. lobbii there, too.

You can see photos of E. lobbii, E. californica, E. caespitosa and E. hypecoides at CalPhotosBerkeley.

 

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