Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: California Poppy
Eschscholzia californica

Family: Papaveraceae (pa-pav-er-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Eschscholzia (es-SHOLT-zee-uh) (Info)
Species: californica (kal-ih-FOR-nik-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Eschscholzia maritima

6 vendors have this plant for sale.

68 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)
12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Gold (Yellow-Orange)
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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There are a total of 87 photos.
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15 positives
6 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Sandwichkatexan On Mar 15, 2012, Sandwichkatexan from Copperas Cove, TX wrote:

I originally grew these in containers in 2007, around my agave truncata and in my flowerpot rack display. Much to my amazement they have spread to all my flowerbeds , and continue in the original containers I planted them in . They look so beautiful with the bluebonnets and the Texas paintbrush in the open field they have now colonized next to my home . The state lower of California and the state flower of Texas look amazing blooming together. I will post pics as soon as they bloom .

Canada wrote:


Positive gojo On Mar 17, 2010, gojo from Camano Island, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I am a wildflower lover and this is my overall favorite. It may not be the best at attracting bees, butterflies etc., but it makes up for it with needing no maintainence and growing in places few other plants will grow, giving those parts of my land a colorful show from frost to frost.

Neutral garyswyfe On Jul 21, 2009, garyswyfe from Martinez, CA wrote:

California Poppy is a gorgeous plant and can be seen everywhere in Northern California in the Spring. I've attempted to plant these seeds numerous times in order to enjoy the show in my own yard. My experience has been, however, that they never grow where I seed them. They do appear in every crack and crevice and planting bed other than the one I wanted them in! Can't explain, but have had better luck buying the plants. Seems to be the only way I can make them stick to a preferred area!

Positive CLScott On Jul 20, 2009, CLScott from Calgary
Canada wrote:

California poppies are a self seeding annual in Calgary, Canada.
They come in a wide range of colours from white to purple. However, it is the original orange California poppy which is most likely to reseed itself.

Neutral anelson77 On May 11, 2009, anelson77 from Seattle, WA wrote:

These are perennial and nearly indestructible in Seattle, and reseeds vigorously as well. Fortunately the seedlings are easy to pull. I only let it grow in out of the way places because, while spectacular in bloom, it gets mildewy and ratty looking in late summer.

Positive peachespickett On Mar 16, 2008, peachespickett from Huntington, AR wrote:

Grew these from seed in raised desert bed here in Western Arkansas, grew like crazy, I let them reseed a few times, and the seedlings and the bigger ones I didn't pull out lived all through winter here, we had 15-20 degrees a few nights, snow storms and a whole lot of rain, and everytime it warms up they just keep putting out more leaves.

Positive Opoetree On Aug 10, 2007, Opoetree from Oak View, CA wrote:

I would never think 'eschscholzia' had anything to do with the poppy of my childhood...I have had these California lovelies in my yard all my life. My mom used to hold one up under my chin and say that if my chin glowed yellow, then I certainly liked butter! I would collect the seed pods every year, even if that really didn't need to be done since the plants always resowed themselves. The blossoms are so silky and delicate...a wild thing to treasure forever.

Positive SandyRN On Jun 16, 2007, SandyRN from Blackwood, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:

My first year growing these. I sowed outdoors very early spring, and now they are putting on such a show! They're so eye-catching. Hope it lasts.

Neutral thetripscaptain On Jun 16, 2007, thetripscaptain from Racine, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:

I have some 1-4" tall seedlings of CA poppy going right now. They're doing really well, unlike some other species of poppies I've tried to grow here. As far as being poisonous/narcotic... I really don't think it's either. It is said to have some ralaxing/calming properties and some people do indeed ingest it for these properties, but I have never heard of anybody getting poisoned. I, however, have never consumed CA poppy.

Positive Kell On Jan 20, 2006, Kell from Northern California, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

These grow wild all over the Califonia hills. In early spring it is a great sight. They are so easy, asking for nothing

Positive Scorpioangel On Sep 12, 2005, Scorpioangel from Gold Hill, OR (Zone 7a) wrote:

A great dryland plant. Starts blooming just as it begins to warm and early spring flowers are starting to fade. Here in So. Oregon they grow like a weed, getting started just after the fall rains hit and usually grow all winter, unless we have an unusually cold year, then seedlings spring up when it warms up. I pull them from where I don't want them and let the rest go.

Neutral saya On Jun 22, 2005, saya from Heerlen
Netherlands (Zone 8b) wrote:

It is said that the plant contains substances that have slight narcotic, spasmolytic and analgetic effects... usually it can cause symptoms like nausea and vomit..

Positive lmelling On Apr 7, 2005, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

Not winter hardy in my area but I grow from seed sown in mid May. The poppies grow quickly and will take over the area in which their sown and give me continuous bloom from mid summer to frost. Delightful!

Positive nevadagdn On Apr 6, 2005, nevadagdn from Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) wrote:

These are borderline winter-hardy in my Zone 7 dryland garden. Both old plants and seedlings appear every year. I weed them out of wherever I don't want them, and that's all the care they get. I haven't had any luck with the "fancy" (purple, pink, white) varieties from seed yet--I'll see how things go this year.

Positive Kelli On Oct 13, 2004, Kelli from L.A. (Canoga Park), CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

My plants at home bloom with orange flowers in the spring. In early summer, then they have smaller, yellow flowers.

The wild CA poppies of the Antelope Valley are the classic, large orange flowers. The wild CA poppies of the Santa Monica Mountains are smaller and yellowish. (These are Eschscholzia californica, not another species.)

I read that miners would look for stands of yellow CA poppies as they were indicators of mineral-rich soil. I don't know if that is true, as I get both colors from the same plant, depending on the time of year.

Positive jhyshark On Jul 3, 2004, jhyshark from Scottville, MI (Zone 4b) wrote:

Even in zone 4b, these self-sow freely and come up each year. But I have to live with where they want to come up, because I can confirm that they do not like transplanting. The extras are easy to pull out however... in fact, you don't even have to worry about pulling the root since they are an annual. They add splashes of color in the rock garden when not much else is blooming.

Positive pungo On May 17, 2004, pungo from Norfolk, VA wrote:

The yellow ones are easy but seldom resow as normally advertised. The other colors are not as easy to grow. I cast the seed directly on the ground.

Positive CoyoteSpirit On Oct 19, 2002, CoyoteSpirit from Citrus Heights, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Its a pretty plant and lives like a weed in out very poor hardpan soil....only thing is...IT LIVES LIKE A WEED and gets into everything...i am constantly weeding out poppies!

Neutral mom2cats On Jun 3, 2002, mom2cats from Moorestown, NJ (Zone 7b) wrote:

This is the state flower for California, where it self sows readily in even dry, non-fertile soil. It easily covers the hills of the Napa Valley, in abundance.

It is a sunlover and it does not tolerate shade, and it absolutely does not like being transplanted.

I have not had good luck getting these to grow in my zone (7), in New Jersey.

Neutral poppysue On Aug 4, 2001, poppysue from Westbrook, ME (Zone 5a) wrote:

An easy annual with golden-orange and silky petaled flowers. Plants grow about a foot tall and a foot wide with finely cut gray-green foliage. Very tolerant of poor dry soils and will self seed abundantly.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (2 reports)
Anchorage, Alaska
Apache Junction, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Salome, Arizona
Huntington, Arkansas
Brentwood, California
Canoga Park, California
Castro Valley, California (2 reports)
Ceres, California
Chico, California
Clayton, California
Elk Grove, California
Encinitas, California
Eureka, California
Fairfield, California
Fontana, California
Fremont, California
Fresno, California
Garberville, California
Glendale, California
Laguna Beach, California
Laguna Hills, California
Lake Forest, California
Los Angeles, California (2 reports)
Malibu, California
Manhattan Beach, California
Martinez, California
Merced, California
Modesto, California
North Fork, California
North Highlands, California
Oak View, California
Richmond, California
Sacramento, California (3 reports)
San Anselmo, California
San Clemente, California
San Francisco, California
San Jose, California
San Leandro, California
Vacaville, California
Winnetka, California
Yucaipa, California (2 reports)
Colorado Springs, Colorado (2 reports)
Gainesville, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Saint Charles, Illinois
Barbourville, Kentucky
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Scottville, Michigan
Ypsilanti, Michigan
Springfield, Missouri
Helena, Montana
Kalispell, Montana
Lincoln, Nebraska
Scottsbluff, Nebraska
Henderson, Nevada
Sparks, Nevada
Blackwood, New Jersey
Roswell, New Mexico
Ithaca, New York
Woodstock, New York
Cincinnati, Ohio
Newark, Ohio
Bend, Oregon
Corvallis, Oregon
Gold Hill, Oregon
Klamath Falls, Oregon
Oakland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Salem, Oregon
Springfield, Oregon
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania
North Augusta, South Carolina
Sumter, South Carolina
Winnsboro, South Carolina
Thompsons Station, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Beaumont, Texas
Copperas Cove, Texas
El Paso, Texas
Grand Prairie, Texas
Houston, Texas
New Caney, Texas
Round Rock, Texas
Farmington, Utah
Ogden, Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah
Norfolk, Virginia
Camano Island, Washington
Kalama, Washington
Kenmore, Washington
Seattle, Washington (2 reports)
Spokane, Washington (2 reports)
Sumas, Washington
Charleston, West Virginia
Madison, Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Racine, Wisconsin

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