1000 seeds of Eschscholzia californica, California poppy, golden poppy

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Eschscholzia californica seeds, Golden Californian poppy

Eschscholzia californica belongs to the family of the Papaveraceae, the poppies. As one can already suggest from the scientific name, E. californica is native to California. The plant is also known as Californian poppy, golden poppy, California sunlight and cup of gold. The Californian poppy is state flower of California. Meanwhile the cup of gold is distributed all over the world and is rated as invasive species in several countries. E. californica grows as an herbaceous plant that reaches a height of about 60 cm. The leaves are filigree they emerge from the bottom of the shoot and are pinnate. The leaflets are only few millimeters wide. The whole leaf can get up to 14 cm long. The actinomorphic flower of the Californian poopy is brightly yellow or orange. They get 12 cm in diameter. The bright color is attractive for insects that pollinate the hermaphrodite flowers. Fields of E. californica are really astonishing due to the intensive color. In the night and when the weather is bad the flowers are closed. When the weather is bad, there are no pollinators flying around, so there is no use to keep the flower open. The closed flower looks like a sleepy head. The fruit is a pod that gets 10 cm long. The pod breaks longitudinal and releases the small, brown seeds. The Californian poppy is used in medicine as a sleeping pill. It includes several alkaloids like isochiolinalkaloid which has a sedative effect. Moreover the isochinolinalkaloid antispasmodic and stops panic attacks. The ingredients of the cup of gold shorten the time till sleep occurs and improve the sleep quality. Isochinolinalkaloids are rarely prescribed as such but they are part of several tranquillizer. The Indians used the Californian poppy external against head louses. They also believed that two flowers put under the pillow of the children improve their sleep. There is ongoing research around E. californica. The pharmaceutical industry is strongly interested in that plant.


Growing golden poppy from seeds:

The seeds of E. californica can be directly sown outside in spring. As an alternative one can start in March and sow them inside. At a temperature of 20°C and constant moist substrate, germination occurs already after just one week. Who wants to heave flowers for a longer time should sow the seeds in intervals. Then the plants start to flower at different times. The plant is an annual plant and so one has not to think of how to overwinter the plant. Nevertheless one can leave the last pods at the plant that they sow out at fall on their own. So in the next spring the next generation can germinate. Under good environmental conditions E. californica can build a tap root and grows again in the next year.

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