The California Poppy or eschscholzia californica is a native wildflower and became the official state flower of California in 1903. When this magnificent flower is in bloom, it can easily blanket a hillside for hundreds, if not thousands of acres. They are a perennial and can grow from western Oregon all the way down to Baja Mexico. The discoverer was Adelbert von Chamisso, who discovered and named the flower in 1816 while sailing into San Fransisco Bay. The poppy was named in honor of the ship’s the surgeon and entomologist, J. F. Eschscholtz. Early Spanish sailors called California the ” Land of Fire” because of the huge amounts of poppies growing along the coast, and the flower was known as “copa de oro” or cup of gold. Native peoples have used the plants for a vary of different ailments, from headaches, stomach aches, toothaches and even helping children sleep.
Poppies can grow up to 2 feet high with purple and green foliage at it’s base, and have their signature four petal design. They are truly one of the most beautiful and treasured plants of California. They can be seen in red, white or signature yellow color, and usually will have other wildflowers growing with them in the same fields.
If you would like to find the best place to see the poppies, then make sure you check out the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve in Lancaster California and the annual Poppy Festival held in April of each year.
Click the poster for festival info…