California State Flower

5 min read

You have probably seen this little orange flower in the gardens, but you didn’t figure out the name of this beauty. It comes straight from California. This perennial flower is called Escholtzia or the California golden poppy. This, of course, is the California state flower, and most people in the state are familiar with it. The golden poppy is widely viewed as beautiful, and it is also seen as a very useful medicinal plant.

This is a beautiful little plant that produces a huge quantity of flowers. You can even plant a medicinal garden for aesthetic reasons.

In this article, we are going to learn and thoroughly study the mysteries behind this beauty including the following:

  • Botanical description of the California state flower
  • Medicinal properties
  • Use of the California state flower in herbal medicine
  • Precautions for use
  • Scientific study about the golden poppy flower
  • Benefits of the golden poppy

Botanical Description of the California State Flower

This plant belongs to the papaveraceae family. The flower ‘s scientific name is Eschscholzia californica, and it is not a narcotic. This perennial or annual plant, depending on the variety, also belongs to the poppy family. It thrives in sunny areas and in well-draining soil. If the winter is cold it will disappear, and it will have to be sown again in the spring.

At a height of 40 cm, it has glaucous green cut leaves. As a symbol of the state of California, it also produces bright yellow and orange-yellow flowers with four petals. The flower blooms from spring to summer.

Other varieties can produce different colors such as pink, red, or white flowers. The flower bud of the eschscholtzia is an oblong shape.

The seeds are contained in an elongated capsule, which constitutes the fruit. The flower has alternate leaves, which are deeply cut into linear segments, which are blue-green-grayish in color.

Medicinal Properties

This plant has a simple, direct, straightforward sedative use, and many use it as a remedy for sleep problems such as when it’s hard to fall asleep, or when you wake up at night. The Eschscholzia facilitates falling asleep for both adults and children. This natural hypnotic calms children before bedtime, reduces waking in the middle of the night, bed-wetting, and nightmares.

There are other medicinal properties too, including the following:

Anxiolytic: the California poppy improves mental disorders by standardizing psychological functions. It fights nervousness and stress without creating addiction. Many with mild anxiety use the plant to treat anxiety induced palpitations or feelings of oppression.

Antispasmodic: This flower also controls pain, colic, intestinal irritations, and ailments that cause sleep disorders. It can therefore reduce painful spasms, digestive spasms, and biliary spasms. This kind of property is less conventional and less used but its highly effective and efficient.

Analgesic: This medicinal property can be used for pain management but only with higher doses.

The California golden poppy is a traditional remedy, used for its analgesic properties.

This plant relieves people of headaches and dental pain. In the 19th century, it was originally introduced in Europe only as an ornamental plant. In 1820, the German botanist Aldelbert von Chamisso gave it the scientific name of “eschscholtzia.” This was in honor of a Baltic botanist and naturalist, Johann Friedrich von Eschscholtz.

In European gardens, eschscholtzia was recognized for its medicinal properties and is now part of the French pharmacopoeia.

Precautions for Use

The sedative effects of eschscholtzia must be taken into account for many reasons. First of all, the California poppy should especially not be combined with alcohol. Second, people preparing to undergo surgery should also stop taking eschscholtzia a week to 10 days before. Third, there should be no interference with any treatment (anesthetic or other products).

Even if this plant is non-toxic, eschscholtzia is not recommended during pregnancy and breastfeeding, nor for children under 6 years of age. People also use it to treat glaucoma. This is because of the presence of certain alkaloids, including sanguinarine.

The California golden poppy is not recommended for people who are allergic to plants of the papaveraceae family or allergic to certain drugs including morphine and codeine.

Eschscholtzia can rarely cause a slight state of torpor. Other side effects include morning lethargy and muscle stiffness.

Scientific Studies about the Golden Poppy Flower

The California state flower has diverse therapeutic indications such as sleeping disorders, difficulty falling asleep, bedwetting, nightmares, and night awakenings. The indications can vary from mild anxiety, stress, nervousness, to pain associated with sleep disturbances.

According to a French study, it has shown that Eschscholtzia has sedative and slightly anxiolytic properties. This can be used without being toxic to the body and without being addictive. Today, research sheds lights on the effects of the California poppy in the treatment of certain conditions, such as migraines.

Benefits of the California State Flower

The Eschscholtzia was known also as a “restful sleep plant” in the past thanks to all of the sedative properties the flower has.

The alkaloids are the main components of eschscholtzia. They help treat sleep disorders, difficulties with falling asleep, and waking up at night. If the roots contain more alkaloids, they are not used in herbal medicine.

Thanks to the presence of protopine, eschscholtzia is also an anticholinergic and antispasmodic plant. This can help treat certain pains. Finally, you can avoid chemical treatment for mild anxiety with psychosomatic disorders with the flower.

The California poppy belongs to the papaveraceae family. This plant is still relatively unknown by many. This small poppy stands at a height of 30 to 40 cm and is easy to grow and bloom. The flowering takes place in summer and vibrant colors begin to beautifully flourish.  Yellow, orange, pink, or white, the choice is yours if you want to add it to your garden. With this beauty, your garden seems like heaven in your home.