Eschschlozia Californica

Eschschlozia Californica

Common Name:

California Poppy

Eschschlozia Californica

Eschscholzia californica, more commonly known as the California Poppy, is the official state flower of California.  It is native to western and southwestern North America where it can often be found growing in meadows, but also on roadsides and other disturbed areas.  California poppy generally grows from 12 -18 inches tall.  It is very drought tolerant and thrives on well-drained sandy or cindery dry soils similar to those found on Maunakea.  At night time or during cold, windy or cloudy weather California poppy flowers close, opening again in the morning or when the weather has become milder.

The scientific name, Eschscholzia californica, comes from a Russian doctor Johann Friedrich Gustav von Eschscholtz, who collected specimens during an expedition to California in 1815.  Early Spanish explorers called the plant "copa del ora," which means "cup of gold," after the legend which said that the orange petals of the California filled the soil with gold.Traditionally Native Americans used the California poppy for both food and medicine.  Some groups boiled or steamed the plants to be eaten as a green vegetable.  Other indigenous peoples used the California poppy to treat various illnesses such as toothaches, headaches, sores, to kill lice and as a sedative for babies.

There are some beautiful naturalized clumps of California poppy growing very close to the Visitor Information Station on Maunakea.  Keep an eye out for their dramatic displays of bright orange flowers.

Saturday Night Programs

In addition to our nightly stargazing we host regular Saturday Programs @ MKVIS.

Free Nightly Stargazing

FREE Nightly Stargazing & Star Tours

Open to everyone! Every night of the year from 6pm - 10pm MKVIS conducts star tours and operates several telescopes for public viewing by our knowledgeable guides.
Learn More about our Stargazing Program »


Tax-deductible donations allow MKVIS to make all of these free programs possible, including our telescopes!
Make a donation »

Volunteer Program

Learn about astronomy and Mauna Kea as a volunteer. No experience required.
Volunteer Positions at MKVIS »

Content © 2010 Mauna Kea Support Services / Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station
Website design by Curly Pinky Designs. A Kilauea WebWorks production.

MKVIS Hours: 9am - 10pm every day.

Current road conditions - call (808)935-6268