All About California Poppies!


The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

One of the best parts of the spring season is all the new flowers blooming! It is crucial we learn about nature in order to take care of it. So let’s learn about our state flower, the California poppy.

According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, “On March 2, 1903 the California poppy, Eschscholzia californica, became the official state flower of California. The plant’s bright orange flowers are an unmatched symbol of the Golden State, perhaps viewed as a floral representation of the ‘fields of gold’ sought during the gold rush.” This iconic flower can often be found blooming in spring and summer along freeways and across the state, and California even recognizes April 6th as California Poppy Day.

A common misconception is that it is illegal to damage a California poppy. While this is not specifically stated, it is illegal to collect and profit off of any plants taken from property that is not your own. But it is absolutely legal to plant some gorgeous poppies in your garden and watch them grow!

One interesting fact about these blossoming beauties is that they are not just found in California. In fact, they are known to grow in many other states, such as Texas, Oregon, and New York. These poppies require little work and generally don’t need too much water or healthy soil. In fact, they thrive in nutritionally-poor soil. Herbalists also often use these flowers for remedies in a variety of different ways, such as helping with anxiety and insomnia, though there is no actual scientific evidence to support those claims.

I hope you have enjoyed learning about this lovely plant, and consider looking out for them in nature, especially in places you may not expect.