Marin Master Gardeners
University of California
Marin Master Gardeners

Plant Guide

Eschscholzia californica

Common Name
California Poppy
CA Native
California Native
Plant Type
6" - 12" x 6" - 10"
Flower Color
Yellow to Orange
Bloom Time
  • Spring
  • Summer
Finely Divided Bluish-Green
Deer Resistant
Rarely Damaged
Wildlife Value
  • Attracts Beneficial Insects
  • Bees
Growth Rate
Adverse Growth Factors
Special Features
  • Low Maintenance
  • Showy Flowers
Water Use
  • Drought Tolerant
  • Low
Soil pH
6.5-7.5 (neutral)
  • Full Sun
  • Partial Shade
  • Shade
Soil Type
Not Particular
Good Drainage
Description and Cultural Plant Tips

This native california poppy will put on a nonstop show of bright yellow to orange color in late spring and early summer. Because it can be invasive, it is best to put this plant on hillsides or meadows where it can multiply freely. If planted in a garden, it will need regular deadheading to keep attractive. Companion plants include purple moor grass (Molinia caerulea), blue fescue (Festuca) and sea thrift (Armenia maritima). Desert Indian tribes are reported to have eaten the leaves, applied the pollen as a cosmetic and used as decoction to kill lice.

Can be grown from seed. Transplants poorly because of long taproot.  Broadcast seeds in the fall or early spring in well-drained soil that has been spaded or raked. Likes full sun but will tolerate part shade.

Beneficial insects are attracted to this plant for its nectar.


Master Gardener Comments

This is a great plant for a natural meadow setting. Will self -seed once established ans is maintenance-free. Can be invasive in a garden setting.


E. california 'Red Chief' - scarlet flower

E. california 'Sundew' - lemon yellow flower

E. california 'Thai Silk Rose Bush' - rose flower

E. california 'Thai Silk Apricot Rose Bush' - apricot flowers

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