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A picture of a California Poppy

California Poppy

Eschscholzia californica

Also known as

California Sunlight, Cup Of Gold, Golden Cup, California Poppy Thai Silk Series

Eschscholzia californica-12 by Eugene Zelenko (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Full Sun
Easy care
Light watering


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size








1 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images of California Poppy

Some yellow Eschscholzia californica flowers in the wild
A close up of a orange Eschscholzia californica flower
A photo of California Poppy
A photo of California Poppy
A photo of California Poppy

California Poppy Overview

Eschscholzia californica has been the national flower of California since 1903 and is also known by the names California poppy and golden poppy. It is a vigorous, bushy plant that produces attractive orange, yellow or red flowers in the summer. Flowers are produced on individual stems, they measure around 7cm across and have 4 silky petals. A popular golden-flowering plant used in gardens over the world to brighten up sunny, dry areas. Although it can survive mild winters, the plant is commonly treated as an annual in gardens, sowing seed every spring. It is used in cooking, often as a garnish and also has medicinal uses. A tincture can be bought in pharmacies to aid various ailments including depression, tiredness, nerve pain and trouble sleeping. This plant will survive mild UK winters, but it is normally grown as an annual.

Common problems with California Poppy

Problem free

    How to harvest California Poppy

    Pick flowers as needed.

    How to propagate California Poppy


    Sow seed directly into a flowering bed in Spring.

    Special features of California Poppy

    Attracts useful insects

    Drought resistant

    Pot plant

    Attractive flowers

    Colours may range from golden yellow, orange, white, pink and purple.

    Other uses of California Poppy

    Naturaliser, border, rock garden, mixed bed, walls, rock garden


    Anti-depressant; leaves are smoked as sedactive.


    Seeds are used in cooking.

    Flowers - Annuals to direct sow in September

    There is still time to direct sow these hardy annuals where you want them to flower next spring.

    A photo of Queen Anne's Lace

    Queen Anne's Lace

    Ammi majus

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