Eschscholzia Species, California Poppy, California Sunlight, Cup of Gold

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)
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Foliage Color:



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)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone

Can be grown as an annual

Suitable for growing in containers

This plant is suitable for growing indoors


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Gold (yellow-orange)

Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Anchorage, Alaska

Apache Junction, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Salome, Arizona

Huntington, Arkansas

Albany, California

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


Glendale, California

Laguna Beach, California

Laguna Hills, California

Lake Forest, California

Los Angeles, California(2 reports)

Malibu, California

Manhattan Beach, California

Martinez, California

Menifee, 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(2 reports)

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

Clinton, Washington

Kalama, Washington

Kenmore, Washington

Seattle, Washington(2 reports)

Spokane, Washington(2 reports)

Sumas, Washington

Charleston, West Virginia

Madison, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Racine, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 12, 2017, 3acreDave from Albany, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

I planted seeds in the coldest part of December here in zone 17, and they sprouted. After tax time (April 15) they were blooming and still are.

Only the ones with the most direct sunshine have grown to flower. The ones in partial shade are few and small.

The Sunset guide says I can water occasionally so they will be perennial, and bloom again mid-summer. I will try this.


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 .


On Aug 9, 2010, DRAGONSLAYER from BRESLAU,
Canada wrote:

I planted these beauties in pots, which I set in and around the garden. The following spring, they sprouted all around where the pots were, I live in Ontario, Canada, so they do just fine in this colder region. I now collect the seeds and plant where I choose and enjoy their steady spring / summer colour


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


On Jun 16, 2007, thetripscaptain from Durango, CO 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.


On Jan 20, 2006, Kell from (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


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.


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..


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.