Herbs Guide

California Poppy

Family Name: Papaveraceae

Botanical Name(s): Eschscholzia Californica.

Popular Name(s): Californian Poppy

Parts Used: Dried aerial parts

Habitat: It is a native of California.

Description: A perennial herb, with spreading stems, growing up to 2 feet tall. The leaves are divided many times into fine greenish-gray segments. Conspicuous flowers (February-September) range in color from bright yellow to deep orange and have four petals and many stamens.

Uses: California poppy leaves were used medicinally and the pollen was used cosmetically. The seeds are used in cooking. Extract from the California poppy acts as a mild sedative when smoked. The effect is far milder than that of opium, which contains a different class of alkaloids.