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California Poppy - Eschscholzia californica


Family: Papaveraceae - Poppy family Genus Common Name: California Poppy Native Status: Native
Eschscholzia californica - California Poppy. In spite of the beauty of its blossom, the California Poppy is considered to be a weed by many people. Native to North America, scattered wild populations of this plant are found in most states. However, since it was first collected on a Russian exploratory voyage to the west coast of North America in the early 19th century, it is likely that most of the eastern populations are the result of seeds and plants brought back from the west, rather than from native populations in those areas.

The California Poppy is the state flower of California.

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Eschscholzia californica

Distribution of Eschscholzia californica in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 15 Dec 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

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Site: Payette River Valley, Boise County, ID Date: 2010-June-17Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
The 4 petals of the fully-opened California Poppy are fan-shaped.
Eschscholzia californica

Site: Payette River Valley, Boise County, ID Date: 2010-June-17Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The lower part of the interior of the blossom is a darker orange. The flower has many stamens.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Eschscholzia californica

Site: Payette River Valley, Boise County, ID Date: Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
Eschscholzia californica opens fully only on sunny days.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Eschscholzia californica

Site: Payette River Valley, Boise County, ID Date: 2010-June-17Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The California Poppy has a flat pinkish rim at the base of the ovary. This is a key identifier for this particular species, Eschscholzia californica.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Eschscholzia californica

Site: Payette River Valley, Boise County, ID Date: 2010-June-17Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The blossom of Eschscholzia californica sit atop a long smooth stem.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Eschscholzia californica

Site: Payette River Valley, Boise County, ID Date: 2010-June-17Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The leaves of the California Poppy are a bluish green and highly dissected. Notice the red tips on this example. I don't know if this is a standard feature of this species.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Eschscholzia californica

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer