The Golden Poppy


The Golden Poppy is also known as the California poppy, California sunlight and Cup of Gold. The golden poppy is native to the west coast of North America but it can also be found in Australia, Chile and South Africa. The poppy is pollinated by beetles but non-native European honey bees also play an important role as a pollinator.




When the golden poppy is pollinated the fruit that develops is long and slender. It dries and eventually splits shooting tiny round black seeds in all directions. The golden poppy is a 'drought escaper'. The seeds can lie dormant in the ground for years waiting for rain when they take root quickly and flower suddenly showering the land in gold (left).

Desert Indian tribes are reported to have eaten the plant's leaves and used the pollen as a cosmetic to kill lice and medicinally as a pain killer to treat toothache, saw throat and insomnia. Generally, poppy seeds are a valuable food very rich in calcium, phosphorus and zinc.


Magnoliophyta: Magnoliopsida: Magnoliidae: Papaverales: Papaveraceae: Eschscholzia: Eschscholzia californica