Ok, so who reading this knew there was another type of Poppy that looked like a California Poppy? I ingloriously admit that I did not! But while riding Wilder with a friend a couple of weeks ago I was admiring some poppies when suddenly I realized they did not look the same! They were lighter in color, not the brilliant orange they are so famous for. At first I thought maybe it was a soil or seasonal difference. Then I realized the center was bright orange still, while the petals were light…almost yellow! Hm….
So, the hunt was on! After doing quite a bit of research, I am happy to have some fun info to pass on to you! There are California Poppies, and then, there are (drumroll please….) …….Coastal Poppies!!!!
In the picture above you can see the color differences fairly easily even though this is not the greatest photo….I’ll update the photos when I get some better ones.
In the meantime….a bit of info, the California Poppy flowers are slightly larger and bloom earlier. Though the California Poppy is a drought resistance plant, in searching high and low, I have seen very few in Wilder currently where they were everywhere in the earlier spring. I am guessing they must need a bit more water than the Coastals.
On the other hand, the Coastal Poppy is a smaller flower and lower to the ground and seems to bloom much later, as the only California Poppies I found to photo were in areas where water from the crop sprinklers reached them. Yet the Coastal Poppies are all over the hills of Wilder right now!
Here’s a fun pic of the Coastal Poppies aka Eschscholzia californica maritima. You can see they are lighter with the darker orange center. And if you look even more carefully, you will see the shadow of my horse’s head in the photo! Grin.
Now, here is pic of the beloved and famous State Flower for California…the California Poppy aka Eschscholzia californica.
Now here’s another news flash….besides the two subspecies I have mentioned here….there are possibly four other subspecies of the California Poppy although botanists can’t seem to agree on whether to agree on them as being truly distinct subspecies.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this little bit of flora trivia….and can get out to Wilder to see them for yourselves soon!