This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(J. F. Eschscholtz, of Kotzebue's scientific expedition). Papaveraceae. Brilliant and popular garden flowers.
Low, pale or glaucous herbs, annual or perennial, with ternately dissected alternate leaves, and large, showy yellow or whitish long-peduncled flowers: sepals 2; petals 4; stamens numerous; stigmas 4-6: caps, long and slender like a silique, 1-loculed, elastically dehiscent at the instant it separates from the receptacle. The calyx forms a hood which is pushed off over the bud as the petals expand (see detail at the left in Fig. 1423). The torus or receptacle (from which the caps, arises) is prominently hollowed and surrounds the base of the pistil. - Few genera have been more diversely interpreted as to the limits of species. Gray accepted about a dozen species, and something like this view of the genus is commonly held. Greene, however, in Pit-tonia, V (1905) recognized 112 species and separated one of the described species under the new genus Pet-romecon. Fedde in Engler's Pflanzenreich, hft. 40 (1909), separates 123 species. These many species are segregated largely from the multifarious group to which the name E. californica has been applied. On this treatment Jepson writes: "This species is highly variable, especially so in trivial details of leaf-segmentation and of shape of calyptra and in habit.
It is also variable in the size and color of petals and so runs into an extensive concourse of forms, many of which seem obviously seasonal or due to soil or moisture conditions. Some of these highly marked plants in the Sacramento Valley have two seasonally dimorphic forms, an erect vernal flowering form with very large golden corolla and huge torus rim, and an autumnal flowering form with small straw-yellow corolla and reduced or no torus rim. It has been found impossible thus far, after several trials, to reproduce this sequence in cultivation on the coast. The flower is not like either the vernal or autumnal form but approximates the coast form. A large number of the wild forms have been collected but probably only a small proportion of those in existence. Yet the number of specimens distributed to herbaria has been sufficient to form the basis for nearly 100 new species. It does not seem hopeful that the solving of the problem of Eschschollzia calif ornica in just this way will lead either to permanent results or afford a satisfactory basis for the kind of work most needed, namely the prosecution of combined field and cultural studies." Studies of growing plants under conditions of observation and control, both of wild and horticultural material, are awaited.
Where the abundant garden material falls, in the segregations, is yet unknown. The cult, forms are derived from the old
E. californica, and E. tenuifolia appears also to be in the trade. Eschscholtzia is a genus of W. N. Amer., ranging both on the coast and in the interior valleys, and in the Sierras. It occurs from Low. Calif, to the valley of the Columbia River, in New Mex., Ariz., Nev., Utah. It has run wild in parts of Cent. Eu.
Cham. California Poppy. Fig. 1423. Perennial, but cult, as an annual, 10-24 in. high, forming mats: leaves long-petioled and divided into linear parts, those on the stems smaller and shorter-petioled: flower saucer-shaped, opening in sunshine, 2-3 in. across, yellow or orange or cream-colored: pod 3-4 in. long, strong-ribbed: torus large and funnel-shaped. Calif, and Ore., mostly along the coast. - One of the most popular garden flowers It is treated as a hardy annual, the seeds being sown where the plants are to stand, and they should be sown very early. It stands considerable cold, and blooms after the first frosts. If well protected, plants of one season's growth will pass the winter and give some bloom the following spring. It sometimes self-sows. Very attractive as an edging, because of its interesting bluish foliage. There are double-fid. forms. Very variable, and cult, under a variety of names, as C. maritima, Hort, (nct Greene), C. varia, Hort, (trade name for mixed varieties), C. aurantiaca, Hort., C. alba, Hort., C. Thorburnii, Hort. In color forms are offered yellow, golden yellow, white, rose-white, carmine, rose. variety crocea, Hort. (E. crocea, Benth.). Flowers deep orange: torus very widely expanded: calyx-bud long-attenuate. B.R. 1677. B.M! 3495. variety
Plate XXXVIII. The California poppy. - Eschscholtzia californica.
Fig. 1423. Eschscholtzia californica. (X 1/2)
Douglasii, Gray (E. Douglasii, Benth.). Rather more slender, and blooms earlier: flowers pure yellow: torus rim narrow.
Hook. Lower, with narrow leaves in a radical tuft, the long divisions being almost capillary: flowers small (1 in. across), light yellow, overtopping the leaves: torus less prominent: seeds muricate. Foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. B.M. 4812. l, H. B.