Poppy, Tufted ;  Eschscholzia caespitosa

Early bloomer.  Orange to yellow, same genus but not the California state flower.  Birds eat seeds, leaves used for toothache.

Notes:  Ours can be distinguished from the state flower, Eschscholzia californica, by looking beneath flowers. The californica has a washer or small green plate, the caespitosa does not. Ours also tends to have smaller flowers. Coastal poppies tend to be more yellow, inland-more orange, but colors can vary in the same area, even to white.  Warmer weather tends to produce more orange flowers. The seed pods (like little caps) rupture when ripe, open like little mouse-traps, and can project their seeds.  Seeds are used for food by some birds.  The Maidu used the leaves to relieve toothache and the plant as a sedative, for headaches and insomnia. In art, the poppy is the symbol for sleep/death.  It is one of the few plants with special pigment molecules (escholtzxanthin).

Click on species name below to go to USDA for this species.

Kingdom Plantae -- Plants 
    Subkingdom Tracheobionta -- Vascular plants 
        Superdivision Spermatophyta -- Seed plants 
            Division Magnoliophyta -- Flowering plants 
                Class Magnoliopsida -- Dicotyledons 
                    Subclass Magnoliidae 
                        Order Papaverales 
                            Family Papaveraceae -- Poppy family 
                                Genus Eschscholzia Cham. -- California poppy
                                    Species Eschscholzia caespitosa Benth. -- tufted poppy

Poppy, Tufted ;  Eschscholzia caespitosa

Poppy, Tufted ;  Eschscholzia caespitosa -- a beautiful display with lupine, lace pod, and the river

Poppy, Tufted ;  Eschscholzia caespitosa -- and beautiful in vast fields

Side view: note there is no pedestal below the petals as for the California Poppy
Photo by Barbara Heninger, 3-27-2010