Featured Flower: Poppies
Since poppies are associated with sleep and remembrance of soldiers who have died in war, we chose poppies in honor of Memorial Day. Just like the redwoods, they are an integral part of the local scene. It just wouldn’t be California without these flowers.
The California poppy (Eschscholzia Californica) was designated California’s state flower in 1903. Also known as the flame flower, la amapola, and copa de oro (cup of gold), the poppy grows wild throughout California. Native Americans living in California valued the poppy as a food source and for the oil extracted from the plant.
At this time of year you can find their bright orange or gold (if you believe that the Golden Gate Bridge is also gold) blooms in many a field, roadside, or even rocky outcropping. Their simple, four-petaled blossom is delicate and beautiful, unfurling like a flag from its protective sheath.
Poppies bloom in late spring to early summer, and have lovely, fern-like leaves. They have silky, thin petals, and they are luminous when back-lit by the sun. They come in a wide variety of colors (including pale yellow, red, blue, purple, etc.), but here in SonomaCounty, they are generally orange in color.
California poppies are happy, beautiful and everywhere!