California is a beautiful state to visit, live in or even build a summer home. Despite the breath taking ocean views over the rolling hills, a collection of beautiful bright orange color catches your eye. This is California state flower called the California Poppy. This delicate flower has a bit of history behind it, other than just adding the finishing touch to the already striking landscape. From Indians to early French botanist, this California state flower is not only popular for its beauty, but for science and usefulness as well. Now sit back and relax while you read the delightful history of the California state flower.
The Indians, native to California, use the flower in more useful ways than imaginable. According to Francise Lloyd in his book called “An Introduction to 81 California Wildflowers, Flower of the Foothills” he states that the Indians consumed the flower by either boiling or roasting them and adding them to water. The Indians would then use the California state flower as a medicine curing headaches and insomnia. Another purpose for the California Poppy, stated on the California State website, is that the Native Americans used it for oil, extracting it from the plant. This beautiful flower was more than just a flower to the Native Americans, it was medicinal and useful.
The California Poppy was first discovered by the famous Adelbert von Chamisso. Although he is a French born explorer he was first brought into the San Francisco Bay in October 2, 1816 on a Russian ship called the Rurik. Adelbert von Chamisso was a very intelligent man with a resume filled with knowledge such as a linguist, botanist, a romantic writer and naturalist. Sailing on board with Chamisso was his friend Johann Friedrich Eschscholtz, who was also a fellow botanist as well as a young surgeon. When studying the plants in the San Francisco Bay area, Chamisso called the botanical name for the flower Eschscholiza californica, in honor of his good friend. In return Eschscholtz also named a flower after Chamisso the Lupinus chamissonis. Despite the botanical name, the California Poppy has several different nicknames from the flame flower to cup of gold given by the Spanish.
The California Poppy is usually orange in color, and can sometimes be a yellow as well. White or cream color Poppies are either very rare or unusual, but that doesn’t mean you cannot find them. The California Poppy is shaped like a wine glass of petals. They usually only have four very large, almost fan shaped petals. These beauties grow in the wild and it is against the law to pick them, although if you want to grow them in your yard, you can buy their seeds.
The California state flower is the garnish to the already beautiful state. The enhancement the California Poppy gives whether medicinal or for beauty, will still stun you when you can see the flower in real life. No photo can do justice to the delicate color and features of that state flower.