A vibrantly orange poppy that has calming and mildly sedative properties, used to promote relaxation and improve sleep.
The American author John Steinbeck once wrote “California poppies … are of a burning color—not orange, not gold, but if pure gold were liquid and could raise a cream, that golden cream might be like the color of poppies.”
Whilst California poppy does have therapeutic properties as described in the ‘uses and benefits’ section below, its glowing presence in the garden is usually more than enough to justify growing it every year. It is an annual that is best sown direct – it does NOT like to be moved so avoid transplanting unless it is very small.
The seed pods have a habit of maturing when you’re looking in the other direction, and exploding in your hands when you try to harvest them, so you are normally guaranteed a few self-sown plants every year once you have an established patch.