California poppies became the state flower in 1903. California Indians cherished the poppy as both a source of food and for oil they extracted from the plant. Its botanical name, Eschsholtzia californica
, was given by naturalist Adelbert Von Chamisso, who dropped anchor in San Francisco in 1816 in a bay surrounded by hills of poppies. They are also sometimes known as the flame flower, la amapola, and copa de oro (cup of gold). They grow wild throughout most of California but only in huge concentrations in certain areas like the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve near Lancaster.
Poppies are one of my favorite flowers. Feel free to add your own photos taken in California of wild poppies!
External LinksAntelope Valley California Poppy Reserve