Scientific Name: Eschscholtzia californica spp. mexicana
Common Name: Mexican Poppy
Family: Papaveraceae or Poppy Family
Duration: Annual, perennial.
Size: Up to 20 inches or more.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; stems leafy and branching above the base, some plants appear to have no stems (acaulescent).
Leaves: Blue-green, glaucous; leaves alternate, feathery-like, deeply dissected lobes.
Flower Color: Yellow, orange or yellow-orange; solitary on slender long stems, 4 petals close at night, 2 sepals fruit a tapering capsule up to 3.5 inches long, dehiscent capsule opens at maturity releasing numerous tiny brown seeds.
Flowering Season: February to May.
Comments: WithinEschscholtzia californica, there are two subspecies: californica (perennial, usually cultivated) and mexicana (annual, native). Once considered a separate species, Mexican Gold Poppy is now recognized as a desert-inhabiting subspecies of California Poppy (E. californica). Eschscholtzia - (esh-SHOLE-tzee-a).