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Photo Credit: James Parker

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Photo Credit: James Parker

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Photo Credit: James Parker

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QUICK FACTS

  • HPRWA SCORE 14
  • FAMILY Papaveraceae
  • CATEGORY Grasses & Groundcovers

California poppy, golden poppy (Eschscholzia californica)

Native to the California and the west coast of the U.S.A., Eschscholzia californica, thrives in a wide range of climate and soil types. Quickly adapting to local conditions, it has naturalized widely outside its native range, especially in regions with Mediterranean climates. The drought-tolerant plant grows new shoots after mutilation and outcompetes native grasses. The wind-dispersed seeds remain viable, after many years of dormancy, in the soil. Often sold in wild flower seed mixes, the heavy seeder is easy to grow and reaches reproductive maturity quickly. Contamination both in alfalfa seeds and in grain fields have been documented. The annual flower is weedy in dry areas of Hawai’i, along with roadsides and in disturbed areas.

  • Herbaceous perennial
  • Feathery green-blue leaves
  • Lobed and alternately arranged foliage
  • Solitary flowers appear at the end of the stem
  • Four petaled flower has a silky texture
  • Flower color ranges from yellow to orange to purple to cream
  • Flowers close at night and during cloudy days
  • Fruit capsule contains many small black seeds

Harm

  • Outcompetes native grasses
  • Tolerates a wide range of soil conditions
  • Seeds persist in the soil remaining dormant until conditions are favorable
  • Dehisceing fruit capsules spread seeds up to 5 feet from parent plant
  • Contaminent in agricultural crops
  • Adapts quickly to local conditions