Institute for Biodiversity Science and Sustainability
Distribution Map

The colors below indicate the kind of documentation available for this species in the California counties where it occurs.

 

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California Poppy
Eschscholzia californica
(Papaveraceae)

The petals of the California Poppy have a sheen that magically transforms their orange color into metallic gold. How did California's state flower get its unusual scientific name—Eschscholzia? It is named for Johann Friedrich Eschscholtz (1793-1831), surgeon and naturalist with Russian expeditions to the Pacific Coast in 1816 and 1824. The flowering process of this poppy unfolds like a play. Each bud is enclosed by two fused sepals that are united into a cap that is pushed off by the four expanding petals. When the petals fall away, a pinkish rim becomes evident as a spreading collar at the base of the elongate developing capsule.

DISTRIBUTION: Grassy areas and disturbed sites throughout the Calif. Floristic Province and western areas east of the Sierra Nevada to the Mojave Desert; 0-2000 m.
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