California has been called the Golden State since gold was first discovered in the foothills of the Sierras. But our state flower, the California Poppy, known in botanical circles as Eschscholzia californica, is a visual reminder to us each spring that our state truly is golden. The California Poppy Preserve, northwest of Lancaster in Southern California, is a sight to behold when the poppies are in bloom. The hills look like someone has spilled buckets of orange paint over them. The poppies are so massed it resembles an orange carpet. Occasionally, there are a few other flowers who dare to join the party, but for the most part, the hills are alive with splashes of orange. Late March, early April is the best time to visit. But a call to the California Wildflower Hotline (818) 768-3533, will update you on the blooming hot spots. It's updated every Thursday, March through May.
"Lupines & Poppies" © Kathy Dunham 2008