California poppy, Eschscholzia californica, is the state flower of California. It is a small herbaceous plant which bears yellow to orange (rarely white) flowers in the spring with extremely soft petals. The leaves are lacy and soft, and bluish-green. As the name suggests, this plant is native mainly to California. Each individual plant is small and not too flashy, but often whole vast hillsides will be orange with poppies. (One excellent place to see this is the poppy preserve west of lancaster)

this plant is beautiful in its natural setting, and also can be very nice in an artificial landscape. keep in mind that it's a wildflower and will grow anywhere seeds drop, whether you want it or not. It could become somewhat of a weed. On the other hand, if the climate where you live is vastly different than california, it might not survive at all. The plant can look pretty leggy and dead after flowering, so you will probably want to remove it after that. If you let it go to seed more of them will probably come back next year. If you give this plant enough water it will flower much longer and more abundantly than it does in its natural landscape.

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