Photo Credit
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

California poppy

Scientific name
Eschscholzia californica
Plant Family
Plant Group
California poppies have bright orange-yellow flowers that are distinctly upright and bell-shaped. The leaflets do not clasp around the stem like they do in the common garden poppy.
Identification Hints

California poppies have bright orange-yellow flowers that are distinctly upright and bell-shaped. The leaflets do not clasp around the stem like they do in the common garden poppy. The leaves are finely dissected and blue-green in color.

Did You Know?

An entire song has been written about California poppies. Based on the words to this song, can you imagine what the flowers do at night? Pretty poppies golden, In thy yellow cup, Sunbeams bright, lend their light, Honey bees doth sup, In thy bed so dainty, Soothe to slumbers deep, Poppies, golden poppies, Flowers fair and sweet, Pretty poppies golden bright, good night, good night, Nod your little golden heads, good night, good night. (Words by Mary A. Lombard, music by Leo Bruck; Re-printed by E. E. Smith in The Golden Poppy)

Leaves
Leaves are linear to dissected, concentrated at the base of flowering stems. If the leaves are divided, the divisions can be round tripped to pointy-tipped.
Flowers
Flowers open from erect and long-pointed buds enclosed within two sepals. When the flowers open, they reveal four petals that may be yellow to light orange to dark orange. The petals are 0.75 to 2.5 in (20 to 60 mm) long, and you may see orange spots at the base of yellow flowers. When the petals wither and drop, they leave a crown-like rim around the base of the developing fruits. The flowers then develop into dry, elongated fruits 1.25 to 3.75 in (3 to 9 cm) long, which split open from the base to release the feathery seeds. Flowers bloom from February to September.
Fruits
Dry, elongated fruits (capsules) 1.25 to 3.75 in (3 to 9 cm) long, which split crosswise from the disk at the base to release the feathery seeds.
Habitat
Grassy, open areas and slopes, from 0 to 6500 ft (0 to 2000 m); can be found from coastal dunes to foothills and mountains.