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Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

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Papaver californicum (Western poppy)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Papaver californicum

Papaver californicum A. Gray

Western Poppy, Fire Poppy

Papaveraceae (Poppy Family)

Synonym(s): Papaver lemmonii

USDA Symbol: paca9

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A single bowl-shaped flower at top of each stem has 4 fan-shaped, reddish-orange petals with greenish spot at base; before the flowers open, the buds droop.

Opium is extracted from the sap of an Old World poppy species, once commonly (and innocently) grown in gardens and still found scattered in the country.


From the Image Gallery

1 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 2 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red , Orange
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May


Native Distribution: The Coast Ranges from San Francisco Bay to southern California; not common in the northern half of the range.
Native Habitat: Open brush and woods, especially after fires.

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

Web Reference

Webref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Papaver californicum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Papaver californicum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Papaver californicum


Record Modified: 2023-04-26
Research By: TWC Staff

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