Saturday, August 23, 2008

Native Plants Of California ~ #14 In A Series

When the California State Floral Society went about selecting a state flower in 1890, the California poppy won in a landslide. It took another 13 years for the state legislature to make it official ~ in 1903 the poppy became the golden flower for the Golden State.

California poppies grow from sea level to about 6.500 feet and bloom from February until September. A single flower grows on a long stem, rising from grayish green folage. The plant prefers poor, sandy soil, is drought tolerant and self sows profusely. It will often reestablish itself after wildfires. Native Americans used the plant medicinally and the seeds for cooking. The pollen had cosmetic uses, as well.

The plein air painting below is circa 1911, painted by American Impressionist Granville Seymour Redmond.

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