California Poppy (Eschscholtzia californica)
Named after the Russian-German naturalist and surgeon, Johann Friedrich von Eschsch0ltz. Spanish explorers on the California coast called this flower ‘Copa de Oro’ — cup of gold. The native range of the poppy encompasses the western states and Mexico, and it is the state flower of California, where one sees spectacular displays over entire hills and valleys in the spring. Native Americans used the leaves medicinally. It contains a different class of alkaloids than opium poppies, but its extract is said to have a mild opiate effect when smoked.