Wednesday, April 20, 2011

California Poppies Make New Friends

It's California Native Plant Week. My post honors native California Poppy Eschscholzia californica which performs very well here in South Georgia's loamy sand until the summer gets so hot and humid poppies faint. A few young seedlings may survive the summer and live to the next spring. Mostly they reseed where the long narrow pods split and throw seeds everywhere.

These reseeded themselves in the lawn which was overseeded with rye grass for the winter.
Now the ryegrass is heading out. The whole edge will be mowed when the poppies finish,
leaving Purple Heart and Chartreuse alternanthera to define the border.

Poppies and poppies. Despite the different name,
Eschscholzia is a member of the papaver family.
Poppies and Roses

Salvia and poppies.

California poppes blend well with our
native Venus' Looking Glass Triodanis perfoliata.

California boasts at least 20 species and subspecies of Eschscholzia.
Experts recommend not sowing E. californica seed in gardens with naturally occuring Eschscholzia.

I gather seed when the pods begin to look tan. Seeds secured in a large brown paper bag 
explode as they ripen, startling a gardener who is reading a book. 
November is the ideal time to scatter poppy seeds here.


  1. How fun to see you celebrating California Native Plant Week! I just did my post this morning. I didn't know you had Eschscholzia blooming in your garden. They look wonderful, although I know they can get a bit weedy outside of their native range. I too learned to put the seed pods somewhere secure, otherwise they'd end up all over the kitchen as they explode! ;)

  2. Poppies really do go with everything! Although I particularly like the yellow/orange and purple combination.

  3. We have them everywhere:), but it is nice to see them grow so far away too...

  4. I haven't had much luck with poppies yet, but I'm hoping to turn things around this year. Salvia and California poppies make a great color combo!

  5. I can grow Oriental poppies, and annual poppies; why can't I grow California poppies?

    I have tried twice now with no luck.

  6. You have to make them think they are still in California, GLD. Maybe you could play them a little Beach Boys music.

    Scatter some seed in the fall and save some back to plant in the spring, just in case.

  7. I like poppies but I have not grown these yellow ones. Thank you for poppy seed saving tips. I hope I can save some poppy seeds for the first time this year.

  8. I must add more poppies...I have tons of the red breadseed poppies blooming now. I too scatter my seeds in Nov. want some red ones?

  9. Poppies are such a happy looking flower. I like the way the reseeded in your grass.

  10. I have scattered poppy seeds twice with no luck. I may be plucking the seedlings not knowing it. My bad in the spring....

  11. I bought some poppy seeds after finding out how well they do for you. I'm going to scatter them this fall. Happiness!!!

  12. Blue poppies are my favorite, or is it red, or is it yellow, gee, can't make up my mind. I just plain like poppies.

  13. one of my favs are California poppies..a beautiful annual here in all its colors...

  14. Ahhh, your poppies are divine! I tried scattering some poppy seeds here last fall and they came up but then disappeared. I don't know if the dog trampled them or the two crazy freezes we had did them in...glad yours are happy.

    I was once watering my garden and kept hearing this popping sound. It turned out to be the dwarf Katie ruellia was popping seeds out as I watered! Smart plants!

  15. I love poppies...I had my first California poppy bloom today, so I'm excited!

  16. I'm generally not a fan of orange flowers, but california poppies are the exception and I love them. They are the perfect orange. If I had a large sunny fieldy swath I'd have a bazillion of em.

  17. My popy seeds germinated in hot humid Malaysia...


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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