California poppy (Eschscholzia californica) California poppy, the state flower of California, is native to the Pacific slope of North America from Western Oregon to Baja California. Adelbert von Chamisso, naturalist aboard the Russian exploring ship "Rurick”, discovered and named the species. Eschscholzia californica (California poppy, golden poppy, California sunlight, cup of gold) is a species of flowering plant in the Papaveraceae family, native to the United States and Mexico. The plant is easy to establish by seed, as are all poppies, and thrives in full sun locations with highly fertile but well-drained soil. California poppy is useful as a container plant as well as a meadow or wildflower addition. It is an excellent xeriscape specimen and will excel even in sandy soil. The species Eschscholzia Californica grows in Southern California and is common in the desert area, especially the Mojave desert. It can also be found growing up the coast up through Oregon and up to Southern Washington. They do well in dry areas such as Nevada, New Mexico and the Northwestern portion of Baja, Mexico. As with most plant chemicals, especially those derived from the poppy family (Papaveraceae), there is an implied dose- dependent toxicity. Caution: California poppy may be toxic when taken internally without sufficient preparation.
Unlike the opium poppy, the California poppy contains no opiates and is non-addictive. It also has a more charming history.
California poppies are annual plants with feathery gray-green foliage. The four-petaled flowers, borne on stems 20 to 30 cm (8 to 12 inches) long, are usually pale yellow, orange, or cream in the wild, but cultivated varieties are available in whites and various shades of red and pink.
California poppies tend reseed prolifically. While treasured in California landscapes, they're considered a potentially invasive weed in Hawaii, Alaska and Tennessee.
The golden poppy would become the official, designated state flower of California, in 1890. So it is, botanically, a true poppy, a member of the Papaveraceae family and it shares the growth habits and active principles with its cousins. But with one big exception —it is not an opiate. It is not addictive.
Anxiety. Developing research suggests California poppy, in combination with magnesium and hawthorn, might be useful in treating mild-to-moderate anxiety disorders. This combination product, called Sympathyl, is not available in the US. Trouble sleeping (insomnia).
Home gardeners growing California poppies (Eschscholzia californica) from seed are rewarded with their wispy, fern-like foliage and lively orange, red and yellow flowers. Even though this flower is from sunny California, it's a cool-season annual, 4-12 inches tall.
PC 384a states, in the simplest of terms, that it is illegal for an individual to pick, harm, or destroy any plant life that is on property that they do not own, or do not have permission to do so. This law basically makes it illegal to vandalize someone else's plants.
The tincture of the whole fresh plant in flower is used internally and topically as a pain-relieving liniment. Dried whole plant material is used in an infusion. Steep 2-3 teaspoons per cup of water for 15 minutes. Take note that California poppy tastes bitter.
The California poppy is technically a perennial but is often grown as an annual, owing to its ability to go from seed to flower in a matter of weeks. A single plant can flower profusely over a long period before eventually setting seed and producing new flowering plants in the same season.
The California poppy is not named in toxic plant lists published by the ASPCA, the California Poison Control System, or the University of Texas at Austin. This doesn't necessarily mean that it's perfectly harmless -- just that the chances that it's dangerous are low.
Edible Uses: Leaves - cooked[46, 61, 161]. This plant is in a family that contains many poisonous plants so some caution is advised in using it.
The diamond-petaled California poppy is one of the rarest plants in California and probably never was widespread. Only seven historic populations are known in the inner Coast Ranges in Contra Costa, Stanislaus, San Luis Obispo and Colusa counties.