State Flower

California Golden Poppy

Eschscholzia californica

The California golden poppy is bright orange with blue-green, fern-like leaves and grows in bushy clumps up to 2 feet tall and wide. Their flower petals can reach 2 inches long and 3 inches wide. Golden poppies grow throughout California.  They bloom from spring to early summer and often cover wide valleys, fields, roadsides, and hillsides with a spectacular orange carpet. Golden poppies are drought resistant, grow best in native soil with lots of sunshine, and prefer temperatures from 50-75 degrees.

While some Native peoples use poppies for herbal remedies, all parts of the plant have toxic properties if ingested. If picked, poppy flowers fall apart. According to California Penal Code Section 384a it is illegal to harm or pick any golden poppy on state and private property.

(Senate Bill 1171, Chapter 69, 1903)

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