Eschscholtzia californica, golden poppy, or California poppy are all names that have been given for the celebrated flower on April 6th for National California Poppy Day. The golden poppy was declared the official flower of California, giving it its’ newer name of California poppy, on March 2, 1903. These flowers are delicate and toxic to people and animals. They cannot be plucked to keep in vases; their fragile petals fall apart, and the flower will die quickly once it has been removed from the ground.
California Poppy Myth:
It is commonly believed among Californians that it is illegal to pick golden poppies, however, this is slightly incorrect. It is illegal to pick these flowers on property that is owned by someone other than yourself. As long as you own the property, you will not be in any legal trouble for attempting to pluck California poppies.
California poppies bloom from early spring through summer and into fall. These wildflower blooms require hardly any tending to. Their growth time is fast, and they grow best in sandy, well-drained soil. They come in different variations including California goldens, mission bells, and golden west poppies. California goldens are the classic orange poppies that are most commonly recognized. Mission bells are much more colorful and come in shades of orange, yellow, red, pink, and cream. And lastly, golden west poppies come in a similar shade of orange as California poppies but with a darker orange center.
A popular location to visit to see these beautiful flowers is the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve. Open hours to visit this reserve are from 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. with a fee of $10. Can’t visit the reserve in person? No problem! The Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve has its’ own live stream of the park for you to view the poppy fields. You can use this live stream to wait to see when the poppies bloom for you to plan your next visit. You could view the live stream using this link: https://www.parks.ca.gov/live/poppyreserve
“Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve Snr.” CA State Parks, California
Department of Parks and Recreation, 2022, https://www.parks.ca.gov/?
McIntosh, Jamie. “How to Grow California Poppies.” The Spruce, The Spruce, 21