April 6th is California Poppy Day! We can all celebrate the beautiful sight of bright orange California Poppies against the green hills of spring. The state flowers grows wild all over the state. Poppies are drought-tolerant and self seeding, so they survive and thrive. And this year, after the rain, they should be more abundant than ever!. Their sunny faces are always a welcoming sight that heralds the end of winter. The flowers were given the honor of state flower in 1903, and in 1996, Governor Wilson proclaimed May 13-18th, as Poppy Week. In days of old, the Indians that inhabited the state, used its green foliage as a vegetable and parts of the plant as a mild pain-killer. It was an old Indian legend that the gold that sprang from the California soil, came from the fallen petals of the California poppy. Spanish inhabitants appreciated them as well.
They called the beautiful flower copa de oro, "cup of gold" or sometimes dormidera, "the drowsy one." - because the flowers close at dusk. The Spanish boiled the leaves with olive oil and then added perfume and used it as a hair dressing. It was given it botanical name, Eschsholtzia californica, in 1816 by the Prussians that dropped anchor in the Bay. I think we can all agree that we' are extremely lucky to have these bright spots of sunshine gracing our hills – and we welcome you California Poppies