Common name - Californian Poppy

Eschscholtzia californica is a perennial but in the cooler conditions of the UK it is treated as a hardy annual.

It has bright 50-75mm (2"-3") cup shaped flowers which appear from June till the first frosts, then are followed by cylindrical blue-green seed pods.

The flowers always close at night, opening again in the morning with a blaze of colour,

This can also happen in cool, dull weather.

Eschscholtzia in the Border

Eschscholtzia Flowerhead

They thrive well in poor well drained soil, and will grow to a height of 300mm (12")

If to be used as cut flowers, gather them at the bud stage.

Deadhead regularly throughout the season to prevent self seed.


Week 13:

Sow the seeds in trays of seed compost and germinate at 16°C (60°F)

Germination should take around six or seven days.

Week 15:

Prick out into boxes/trays or cell trays when large enough to handle.

Week 21:

Plant out 150-200mm (6-8") apart when all fear of frost has passed.

California poppies don't transplant very well!

Because of this it may be of more advantage to broadcast and rake in the seeds in autumn (circa week 40) or early spring (circa week 16-18) in well-drained sandy soil that has been well prepared beforehand.

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