California Poppy, Ruth Brunstetter






"Still the land is with blossoms infolding,
Still the sky burneth blue in its deeps,
Time noddeth 'mid poppies all golden,
And memory sleeps."
"The Changeless Year"- Charlotte Perkins Stetson



he California Poppy. Eschscholzia californica. A wild flower, an artist's muse, and a state symbol. The California Golden Poppy is known around the world for its silky petals, vibrant coloring, and golden luster. The poppy's beauty is a constant inspiration for poetry, music, and art. From watercolors that derive their beauty from their simplicity to detailed works dedicated solely to the appreciation of the flower, this website seeks to bring these often overlooked works of artistry out of the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden Library and Special Collections and back into the view of the general public.

 The poppy has long been treasured for its ability to inspire joy in others.  As stated by Emory E. Smith in his 1901 book The Golden Poppy:
            "To appreciate the brimming enthusiasm  who understand and love this meadow queen, one needs to visit the poppy-fields in early morning and see the tremulous seas of fairy pearls and diamonds poised on myriad crimson spears scintillating rainbow lights. The great orange flowers of yesterday again unroll their golden sheaves to take a farewell look at "the world beautiful," green caps are ambitiously thrust up from dusky eyes which for the first time match their glory with the glory of the sun. At noon the "pearls and diamonds" have given place to a sea of waving, shimmering gold,-- rippling with the passing zephyr, flashing orange light such as no beacon-fire ever can. With lengthening shadows the flowers of the day fold their satiny robes tightly round purple-jeweled hearts; while those of yesterday brave the gathering gloom, drink in the last slant sunbeam, then cast their petals, a golden pall, upon the mold." (Golden Poppy 10-11)



Eschscholzia californica, Clara Mason Fox