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California Poppy Eschscholzia californica

Phonetic Spelling
es-SHOLT-zee-ah kal-ih-FOR-nik-ah
Description

This annual poppy is native to the western U.S. and is the state flower of California. It adds vibrant color to hot dry sites with poor soil.   It is considered a drought-tolerant, cool-season annual. The flowers stand on tall stems waving above a mound of loose feathery blue-green foliage in the spring through July.  Flowers are 3" in diameter, cup-shaped, and have 4 silky petals. Bright orange is the most common color though the range is creamy yellow to bright orange. A number of cultivars are available in other colors.

Flowers close up in rainy or cloudy weather and at night. Deadhead flowers regularly to promote additional bloom, but leave some flower heads for self-seeding if desired.  The bloom petals give way to capsules that later split open to release thousands of tiny black poppy seeds.

A good time to sow the seeds directly in the ground is in the fall or start the seeds indoors about 3 weeks prior to the last frost date.   

These annuals may be used in a wide variety of garden areas with plants of similar sun and watering needs. Locations may include garden beds, borders, rock gardens, or in various containers. They work well in large groupings like meadows or smaller naturalized areas.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'XL Jelly Beans'
    Vibrant pink, lemon yellow, red, blue-green foliage
'XL Jelly Beans'
Tags:
#red#white#sun#showy flowers#yellow#partial shade#annual#drought tolerant#orange#container plant#easy to grow#showy#lacy leaves#orange flowers#low maintenance#meadow#rock gardens#borders#self-seeding#blue green leaves#spring interest#wildflower garden#border front
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'XL Jelly Beans'
    Vibrant pink, lemon yellow, red, blue-green foliage
'XL Jelly Beans'
Tags:
#red#white#sun#showy flowers#yellow#partial shade#annual#drought tolerant#orange#container plant#easy to grow#showy#lacy leaves#orange flowers#low maintenance#meadow#rock gardens#borders#self-seeding#blue green leaves#spring interest#wildflower garden#border front
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Eschscholzia
    Species:
    californica
    Family:
    Papaveraceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Western U.S.A. to Mexico
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Wildflower
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6a, 6b, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10b, 10a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Cup
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Electric orange flowers appear from spring through summer.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Gray/Silver
    Leaf Type:
    Fronds
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are slivery blue 3/4 to 4 inches long and narrow, on long stalks.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Lawn
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Rock Wall
    Walkways
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting