In spring I usually do at least one wildflower hike. That’s nixed this year but I’m still enjoying short ‘hikes’ amongst the wildflowers in my backyard. This time up … California poppy (Eschscholzia californica), California’s state flower since 1903 😍. The California State Floral Society hosted a competition to select the state flower in December 1890. The California poppy is said to have won by ‘a landslide’ (California Native Plant Society). Other competitors were the Matilija poppy (Romneya coulteri) and the Mariposa lily (genus Calochortus) .
In North America, the California poppy is native to the Pacific Slope from Southern Washington to Baja California, inclusive of New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and Oregon (California Native Plant Society). This perennial was discovered and named in 1816 by Adelbert von Chamisso, who was a naturalist on the ‘Rurick’ a Russian ship (J.K. Nelson, US Forest Service). Von Chamisso named the flower after J. F. Eschscholtz, the ship’s entomologist who was also its surgeon (huh? interesting).
The California poppy is drought tolerant and enjoys the sun. Flowering from February to September, the colour of its petals ranges from orange to pale yellow (California Native Plant Society).
California poppies are sensitive to the elements. Their petals close if it is windy, cold and at night. If it is cloudy or overcast during the day they will usually remain closed (California Native Plant Society).
Lucky me! I get to see these blooms every day. Another great advantage? Since this is StinkaMissy’s PoppyLand, if I choose to pose around them for that great poppy selfie, no one can complain and I’m careful so I don’t break them 😉. I credit (blame 🤭) Tiffany and Jennetta for the posing 🤣.