California White Poppy

California poppies, the State Flower of California, are found, either native or introduced, throughout much of North America. Generally a golden-orange in color, they can range from yellow to red. There is also a white or creme subspecies (Eschscholzia californica alba).

Since California poppies are easy to grow and quickly naturalize, they have become popular ornamental flowers. Many cultivated varieties, including  “Alba” and “White Linen”, are now available. The California Highway Department plants California poppies along roadsides to help stabilize the soil after construction projects.

A perennial, California poppies , of any color, grow from a taproot between 1/2 and 2 feet in height. The lacy leaves are a bluish green and mostly basal. The bowl-shaped flowers, occurring singly at the end of long stalks, have numerous stamens.

Never having seen a white California poppy before, I was pleased to find several growing at Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge south of Tucson AZ near the Mexican border.

More information on California poppies can be found in my previous post from  07-09-2012 entitled “California Poppy”.

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