Saturday, June 9, 2007

The Coastal Form of the California Poppy

Though the orange, annual, upright Eschscholzia californica is part of everyone's image of the classic California landscape, the type first collected by the Russians is actually the one pictured here, now called Eschscholzia californica var. californica.

It was once thought there were 70 subspecies of the California poppy all over California. Boy Scouts and others have spent years spreading seed from one gene pool in southern california, but local subspecies still do exist, and it is one good way of locating ourselves more specifically where we live, to foster those in our gardens.

It's always surprising and exciting to see how local natives adapt to local garden situations - and the possibilties are endless, and practically untapped. The native species regularly seen in nurseries are just the beginning.