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Flaigg, Norman G.
Eschscholzia californica Cham.
California poppy, California gold poppy
USDA Symbol: ESCA2
Feathery, highly-dissected, blue-green leaves clasp the 1-2 ft. stems of this popular, perennial wildflower. Showy, 1-3 in. wide, four-petaled flowers are open only on sunny days. The flowers are solitary and long-stalked and vary in color from orange to yellow. Each of the satiny petals has a deep-orange spot at its base.
California poppy is often used in wildflower mixes. It is easy to grow, drought tolerant, and reseeds so readily that is can become weedy. In natural conditions, it blooms most heavily from March to May. This bloom period can be extended with supplemental water.
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 1864.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Annual Habit: Herb Leaf Complexity: Simple Leaf:
Green Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Orange , Yellow
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct
, WY Native Distribution:
Most of cismontane CA,
w. Mojave Desert & coastal OR
and N. MX; escaped freely elsewhere. The native
range of the E. c. ssp. mexicana includes NM
and W. TX. Native Habitat:
Open or disturbed, grassy areas
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Low Light Requirement:
Sun Soil Moisture:
Dry CaCO3 Tolerance:
Medium Soil Description:
Nutrient-poor, well-drained soils. Conditions Comments:
California poppy is often used in wildflower mixes. It is easy to grow, drought tolerant, and reseeds so readily that is can become weedy. In
natural conditions, it blooms most heavily from March to May . This bloom period can be extended with supplemental water.
BenefitUse Food: The Nisenan of California boiled and consumed young spring leaves.
Warning: Can be poisonous if ingested. Sensitivity to a toxin varies with a personís age, weight, physical condition, and individual susceptibility. Children are most vulnerable because of their curiosity and small size. Toxicity can vary in a plant according to season, the plantís different parts, and its stage of growth; and plants can absorb toxic substances, such as herbicides, pesticides, and pollutants from the water, air, and soil.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Plant seeds in the fall directly where poppies are desired, since they do not transplant well. Rake in 1/4. Germination is rapid. Seed Collection:
is a slender capsule. Seed Treatment:
Seeds germinate without pretreatment. Commercially Avail:
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Native, non-invasive plant seeds for each region in U.S.
June 09, 2006
I need to identify a wildflower from each region that we can package in custom packaging to use as giveaways at our member zoos and aquariums. Our project this year is called Conservation Made Simple...
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From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Native Seed Network
- Corvallis, OR
Record Last Modified: 2014-02-06
Research By: TWC Staff