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Poppy, California

Culinary & Medicinal Herb Seeds

We carry a diverse variety of herb seeds, including culinary herbs, medicinals, ethnobotanicals, native plants of the PNW, and nectar and pollen rich flowers attractive to bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects. All varieties are open pollinated, we do not sell hybrid seeds. Average seed life is 3 years. Please allow 1-2 weeks for shipping.

Poppy, California

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Poppy, California

3.75

(Eschscholzia californica)

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Common Names
California Poppy, California Sunlight

Botanical Name
Eschscholzia californica

Plant Family
Papaveraceae (Poppy Family)

Life Cycle
Short-lived Perennial

Native Range
California Poppy can be found growing from southern Vancouver Island down into California, where it is the state wildflower. Through not technically native to BC, with its native range only officially as far north as Oregon, you can find California Poppy naturalized abundantly on roadsides and rocky cliffs where the incredible orange colour of their flowers brighten up the view.

Hardiness Zone
Perennial in zones 8-10, Annual in zones 2-11

Habit
Plants grow to about 8" tall and 1-2ft wide. They have a mounding habit. California Poppy plants bloom during their first year and they will often keep blooming from May until frost. The plants are tidy and graceful and the brightness of their flowers brings a warm spirit to the garden that hints at celebration. The bees agree.

Sun/Soil
California Poppy is very drought tolerant and likes full sun. It will grow in pretty much any soil but likes well drained gravelly soil.

Germination/Sowing
California Poppy germinates easily. The seeds can be scattered on the ground in the fall or started in flats in the spring and transplanted out.

Growing/Care
The plants get rangy after flowering and can be cut back to a few inches above the soil to encourage new growth. California Poppy is a short lived perennial that self-seeds in the garden for a perpetual succession plants. 

The wild plants tend to be stronger medicinally. In the garden it benefits to create the more ‘stressful’ conditions (ie hot and dry) to encourage alkaloid rich tissues. 

Harvesting
The entire plant – flowers, leaves, and roots – can be used for medicine making.

Culinary Uses
The flower petals can be added to salads for colour.

Medicinal Uses
California has a long history of traditional use for restlessness, tension, and sleeplessness, especially in children. The herb contains alkaloids similar to those of the opium poppy but milder and non habit forming. Pain relieving and sedative, it is great for calming the spirit, a specific for insomnia due to nervous tension or pain in the body. It eases the angst.

A tincture made from glycerin is especially nice for children as it makes the taste of California Poppy more palatable (this is not a yummy herb). I like to make a ‘Cranky Kids’ glycerite blend with 1 part California Poppy, 1 part Lemon Balm, and 1 part Catnip or Peppermint. It works pretty lovely for adults as well.

Themes
Attracts Pollinators, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Apothecary Garden, Container Garden, Low Maintenance, Rock Garden.