Eschscholzia californica

For those of us here on the Central Coast, this week’s beautiful blog feature will look very familiar. Since Spring has arrived, thousands of orange poppies have appeared covering roadsides, hillsides, and coastal habitats with mounds of pale yellow to vibrant orange blooms. Eschscholzia californica is the scientific name of this California native poppy. Blooms are made up of satiny petals that arise from delicate, 8-24’’ stems. The finely branching foliage is another iconic part of the poppy plant, with its blue green color providing stunning contrast to the bright blooms.


For best success growing E. californica, the recommendation is to plant in well-drained soil and full sun. Once established, poppies require little to regular watering. It is important to note that in regions with hot summers, providing your poppies with regular water will yield a longer flowering season. Its magnificent color, hardiness, and ability to reseed freely make it a popular choice for home wildflower gardens. The warmer yellow and orange colors pair beautifully with cooler colored native plants such as lupine and globe gilia.


The New Sunset Western Garden Book indicates climate zones 1-24 and H1 as suitable for growing E. californica. To see some stunning blooms of wild poppies along road and hillsides, you may want to take a drive up Highway 1 through San Simeon and South Big Sur. If you’re interested in growing some bright color in your home garden, give us a call to learn more about the poppies we have here at Clearwater Color. Currently, we have a classically bright orange series of Eschscholzia californica in 4.5’’ pots. To chat about other plants we have on our availability or some we might have soon, feel free to give us a call!


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