Common name: California poppy
Scientific name: Eschscholzia californica
Plant family: Papaveraceae
Plant type: Wildflower
The California poppy is the state flower of California. It’s native to the Pacific slope of North America from western Oregon to Baja California. Adelbert von Chamisso, naturalist aboard the Russian exploring ship Rurick, discovered and named the species. The Rurick visited Alaska and California in 1816 under the command of Lieutenant Otto von Kotzebue. Chamisso named the California poppy Eschscholzia californica in honor of J. F. Eschscholtz, the ship’s surgeon and entomologist (note that he accidentally left the “t” out of Eschscholtz’s name).