T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Eschscholzia californica (Californian poppy)

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Papaveraceae
Genus: Eschscholzia
Species: E. californica
Binomial name: Eschscholzia californica
Common name: Californian poppy


This species belongs to a family that contains many poisonous plants. Some caution is therefore advised. May be be toxic to livestock.

Eschscholzia californica can grow 5–60 cm tall, with alternately branching glaucous blue-green foliage. The leaves are ternately divided into round, lobed segments. The flowers are solitary on long stems, silky-textured, with four petals, each petal 2–6 cm long and broad; their colour ranges from yellow to orange to white and flowering is from Spring to Summer. The petals close at night or in cold, windy weather and open again the following morning, although they may remain closed in cloudy weather. The fruit is a slender dehiscent capsule 3–9 cm long, which splits in two to release the numerous small black or dark brown seeds. It is a common road side weed in drier areas.

  







The flowers close mid afternoon


A white variety

Eschscholzia californica leaves