Wild California poppies are bright orange.

Even after so many pretty shades of yellow, red, pink and and white have been been developed, the natural orange of the native California poppy, Eschscholzia californica, is still the best. That is probably why they all eventually revert to orange after reseeding. Although native, they do not reseed everywhere, and actually seem to be more reliable in unrefined and unamended areas of the garden than in rich soil with generous irrigation. However, a bit of watering can prolong sporadic bloom until autumn. Bloom otherwise ends before warm summer weather.

California poppy is grown as an annual because the perennial plants get tired rather quickly. They fortunately self sow prolifically. Flowers are typically about two inches wide, with four petals. The intricately lobed leaves are slightly bluish. Foliage is not much more than half a foot deep.

13 thoughts on “California Poppy

    1. If it blooms, it is probably quite happy. It just does not live for very long. In the wild, they bloom briefly as winter ends, and then disappear for another year. That is why the Super Bloom of the Mojave Desert last only for a few days. That is how chaparral and desert plants operate. They can live through most of summer if irrigated regularly, but can get grungy after a month or so too. Alternatively, the first plants toss seed for subsequent generations that continue until autumn.

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      1. Somehow, that does not surprise me. Although, it does sort of make one wonder how it became used as such, since essences have been developed for centuries, and California poppies were only popularized about two centuries ago. I suppose it does not take long to figure out what they are good for. They are exquisite flowers in the landscape, but are even more so in the wild. Their natural settings says a lot about their personality. I know that they are now popular everywhere, and that they are more prolific in gardens, but they are worth seeing in the wild too.

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      1. ?! Why would you want to move ‘to’ California?! I am here only because it is my home, and I do not intend to ever leave. However, if it were not my home, I would stay away from much of it.

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  1. Ah well, that is surprising you say that. I am a Washingtonian by birth and there was a time my family all lived in the DC area, but many of the old folks have died, or retired to Florida, etc…there really isn’t a “grandma’s house” anymore where all the grandkids get together. I do miss all that, but that time is passed. I have a disabled vet husband with a brain injury and I think he would benefit from being near the military bases, other military retirees and some of the brain injury research going on in the universities, etc… Plus, our daughter, who will graduate high school in two years, can go to any U. of CA schools free, due to Neil’s injury, once we establish residency. I certainly hope to find a sense of home, once again. If that is hard to find in California, I suppose I continue to look elsewhere. In the meantime, it seems like a very beautiful place with lots to do. Being a city girl, I do miss civilization, real newspapers, great food, being around educated folks. Hawaii, in many respects, is a little like living in a third world country, while there is nothing wrong with that, if that’s your bag….it just isn’t mine.

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    1. Well, you can certain find that in California. It is my home, and I have no problem with that, although I can not afford to live where my ancestors did. California will always be my home. There are certainly many advantages to being here, and I would not want to permanently live anywhere else. I just know that it requires significant adjustment for those relocating here. Firstly, it is extremely expensive to live in some of the more desirable locations. Secondly, it is very crowded, with three of the most populous cities in America (although there are many very sparsely populated regions as well. Some of the most sparsely populated area in America is within Los Angeles County, just a short distance from Los Angeles, with is the second most populous city in America.) Thirdly, California is very weird. This goes beyond liberalism. I mean, it is weird. I would not have a problem with that except that everyone is expected to be weird also. Those who prefer to be conservative are vilified as haters . . . by liberals who behave like haters. Bad behavior is not only tolerated, but promoted. Every time I go to see my doctor, and I mean ‘every’ time, he wants to prescribe marijuana for any minor problem I might have, even if marijuana would do nothing for it, or even if there are absolutely no problems at all. I could find another doctor, but they all prescribe marijuana for everything. Until recently, people smoked their marijuana openly and expected those of us who are offended by it to just tolerate it, but smoking tobacco in public is illegal. SO much of normal life is illegal, even how we heat our homes or what we drive. Anyway, enough of my rant. If California was totally bad, I would not be here.

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  2. Ah well, that is surprising you say that. I am a Washingtonian by birth and there was a time my family all lived in the DC area, but many of the old folks have died, or retired to Florida, etc…there really isn’t a “grandma’s house” anymore where all the grandkids get together. I do miss all that, but that time is passed. I have a disabled vet husband with a brain injury and I think he would benefit from being near the military bases, other military retirees and some of the brain injury research going on in the universities, etc… Plus, our daughter, who will graduate high school in two years, can go to any U. of CA schools free, due to Neil’s injury, once we establish residency. I certainly hope to find a sense of home, once again. If that is hard to find in California, I suppose I will continue to look elsewhere. In the meantime, it seems like a very beautiful place with lots to do. Being a city girl, I do miss civilization, real newspapers, great food, being around educated folks. Hawaii, in many respects, is a little like living in a third world country. While there is nothing wrong with that, if that’s your bag….it just isn’t mine.

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