More on poppies

An article in Sign On San Diego has a few more tidbits on the California poppy (Eschscholzia californica).

...researcher Curtis Clark of Cal Poly Pomona has studied California poppies since the mid 1970s. He explains that there are four basic groups of California poppies, each with its own geographical range. Only the inland varieties bloom all at once in massive displays that from a distance might be mistaken for fire. While coastal varieties have equally beautiful flowers...

...Interestingly, the Russians are responsible for the California poppy's botanical name.

In 1815, the ex-Chancellor of Russia sent an expedition in search of a waterway connecting the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific. Among the explorers were a French nobleman and naturalist named Adelbert von Chammisso, and a German entomologist and surgeon named Johann Fredrich Eschscholtz.

In October 1816, the ship reached San Francisco where Chammisso found poppies still in bloom. He collected specimens, which he later described in the scientific literature and named for his good friend Eschscholtz.

Chammisso "Latinized" Eschscholtz to create the genus name Eschscholzia. He gave the poppies the species name californica for their native land.

1 comment:

  1. This book has a good rundown of California's early plant exploration...fyi.