The Californian Poppy - Eschscholzia californica is often mistaken as a perennial. In fact it is an annual that re-seeds itself every year. Colours range from yellow to deepest orange or even red. This particular plant is growing in a wall and receives no watering - being quite happy to thrive in this dry environment.
Prefers full sun. It is essentially a sun lover - it closes its flowers in dull and overcast conditions, as it also does in the evenings.
A bright splash of colour that will brighten many a 'difficult' dry area of the garden.
There is a particularly showy - even gaudy - strain with bright range of colours at the edges of the petals radiating out from a lighter coloured centre - Eschscholzia californica Thai Silk - named after the fine silk work made in some parts of Thailand.
Finely cut silvery or grey-green foliage is also attractive, and is erect in habit as are the flower stems.
Californian Poppy is a great colourful plant for any dry area. Easy to grow from seed, and once in the garden - in the right place - it will reward you with a splash of colour for years to come, simply by re-seeding itself.
It requires no special treatment or cultivation. Simply sow and let grow. Seed can be scattered outdoors, or sown 2 or 3 to a 3in pot in the spring and then transplanted when worst of the winter/spring weather is past.
After flowering, there will be many small plantlets scattered around. These cannot be mistaken for weeds owing to their distinctive foliage. Leave well alone, and let them flourish.
If you collect seed, then re-sow over several weeks or months even to get a succession of flowers!
We know of no pest or disease problems with Eschscholzia californica - other than remembering how to spell the name! Californian Poppy is much easier to remember!