This famous flower, the state flower of California, (a very similar sub-species is called Mexican Gold Poppy) carpets whole coastal hillsides up and down the Pacific coast, creating one of the most famous natural wildflower displays in the world, usually in April. Viewing this spectacle from their ships, Spanish explorers thought the “golden display” meant that there was in fact, gold to be found in the flowery hills. California poppy performs well almost everywhere with its dusty dark green ferny foliage and brilliant golden orange cup shaped flowers. A blooming plant is somewhat frost-resistant, and often reblooms nicely in fall meadows.
Flowers close in cloudy weather. The name “Eschscholzia” is after the Russian botanist, J. F. Eschscholtz, who visited the California coast in the early 1800’s.