California Poppies are vibrant in the garden. Most people are familiar with the glorious bright orange poppies often seen along our freeways and in local gardens. Yet they come in other colors besides the common orange. Their dazzling colors range from cream, yellow, orange, red, pink and purple. They are available by seed in many home stores and nurseries or online seed companies will have the most variety.
The pink and cream one pictured here is in its third year in my garden and it has a few siblings sporadically in my yard the same age. When the foliage is all done and drying up I cut them to the ground and never pull out the roots. So far they have come back each spring even bigger. At the start I pull off all the seed heads to get more flowers and they will continue to bloom through halfway into summer. These and the yellow 'Sundew' pictured above are my favorites. I have had to reseed the 'Sundew' each year.
If you have the dominate orange poppy, it will eventually hybridize with the other colors and turn the seeds all orange. So if you want to keep the genetically recessive colors, the orange plants need to be removed. Once pollinated by the dominate orange the other colors will lose their recessive color in the seeds and they will come up orange.
If you are interested in other Native California Wildflowers, go to my website links page and check out Larner Seeds. They have tons of native plants available by seed or in small pots and are local in Marin. It would take a book to cover them all!