California poppy is a somewhat glaucous, freely-branched,
erect to spreading annual or perennial growing to 2' tall with leaves
that are several times ternately dissected into rounded, lobed segments.
The flowers are solitary on 2-6" long stems and are a showy
bright yellow to orange color. The two sepals are united, forming
a hood over the bud as it develops, and then deciduous when the petals
open. The four petals are up to 2" long and open from the
erect bud. The stamens are numerous and surround the single pistil.
There is a torus or ring at the base of the petals, the absence
of which signals that you have found Eschscholzia caespitosa,
the California collarless poppy, which is a smaller, more yellow flower
with petals only 3/4-1" long. California poppy is found in
grassy and open places in many plant communities up to 6500' in much
of cismontane California, and can bloom from February to September.
It is exceedingly variable, and is the state flower of California.
This is a species which folds up its petals when the light begins
to fail, and sometimes does not open on a cloudy day. It is often found
Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Eschscholzia 2) californica.
Pronunciation: esh-SHOLE-tzee-a ka-li-FOR-ni-ka.
Click here for Botanical