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Thursday, March 22, 2012


Three species of poppies are found on Bodega Head.  All three have started to flower.

California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)

On the coast, this species is a perennial, and its flowers are bicolored.  The four petals generally have orange bases and yellow tips.  You'll find them in both grassland and dune habitats, as well as along roadsides.  It's the most common of the poppies on Bodega Head (and is the California state flower).  Interestingly, it was first collected and described during Russian expeditions to this area in the early 1800s (Eschscholtz was a surgeon/botanist on one of the voyages.)

Cream Cups (Platystemon californicus)

An annual, primarily found in coastal grasslands, especially along the outer bluffs.  Six petals, with variable amounts of yellow and white (or cream).  All of the petals on one flower are generally similar in color (contrast with next species).

Evening Poppy (Hesperomecon linearis)

Formerly known as Meconella linearis.  The common name has not been standardized.  Sometimes referred to as Popcorn Poppy or Carnival Poppy.  Hespero = evening or west, and mecon = poppy, hence the name above.  Of the six petals, the inner three are mostly white and the outer three are mostly yellow.  This is the rarest of the poppies on Bodega Head and is only found at a few sites in older, remnant stabilized dunes.  It's also rare in Sonoma County, with perhaps just one or two other known locations.


Anonymous said...

lovely :)

Anonymous said...

Fantastically beautiful flowers! I was behind the Bodega dunes today, just north of Bodega Bay, with my animal trackers (who moonlight as botanists,birders, etc.), and we ran across the Evening Poppy, Had no idea what it was, but plugged "flower with yellow petals and white petals" inot Google Images, and ran thru about 100 pix til I came to yours.

Mark Peery