E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Eschscholzia californica Cham.
California poppy
Papaveraceae (Fumitory family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Neil L. Jennings  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #9649)

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Distribution of Eschscholzia californica
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a deep taproot; stems spreading to erect, simple, solitary to several, 10-50 cm tall, smooth, with clear juice.
Basal leaves blue-green, blades triangular, 3-times divided in threes, the ultimate segments linear, 4-14 cm long, the stalks 6-20 cm long; stem leaves few, similar, alternate, reduced above.
Inflorescence of axillary or terminal saucer-shaped flowers on stalks 6-20 cm long; petals 4, orange-yellow, 0.8-4 cm long, sepals 2, forming a long cone in bud.
Capsules, linear, 3-9 cm long; seeds round to ellipsoid, 1.5-1.8 mm long, strongly ridged in a net-veined pattern.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Late Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present over the Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Dry roadsides, rock outcrops and waste places in the lowland zone; infrequent on SE Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and adjacent mainland; introduced from the W U.S.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References