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Eschscholzia californica

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© RHS

Characteristics

Plant type

Annual/Biennial

Habit

Bushy

Resilience

Hardiness

H3 (half hardy - unheated greenhouse/mild winter)

Colour

Flower

Orange, Red or Yellow in Summer

Foliage

Blue and Green in Spring and Summer

Size

Ultimate height

0.1-0.5 metres

Ultimate spread

0.1-0.5 metres

Time to ultimate height

1-2 years


Preferred common name

California poppy

Family

Papaveraceae


Eschscholzia can be annuals or perennials, with finely divided leaves and solitary, long-stalked, poppy-like yellow, orange or red flowers, followed by conspicuous long seed-pods

E. californica is a vigorous bushy, spreading annual to 30cm, with finely divided blue-green leaves and orange, yellow or red flowers to 7cm across in summer

Other common names

  • California sunlight
  • cup of gold
  • golden cup

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun

Aspect

  • South-facing or West-facing
  • Sheltered or Exposed

Cultivation

Will thrive in poor, well-drained soil but they need full sun for the flowers to open. Can be grown as a drought-tolerant pot plant. Good for exposed or coastal areas

Soil

  • Well-drained
  • Acid, Neutral or Alkaline
  • Loam or Sand

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown in succession from mid-spring onwards

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Cottage/Informal Garden, Flower borders and beds, Cut Flowers, Gravel Garden or Rock Garden


How to care

Pruning

Cut back after flowering

Pests

Generally pest free

Diseases

Generally disease free