California poppies, the state flowers, are sunshine on the landscape. I found the ones below in an orchard in a lovely mountain valley, but often the poppies congregrate along California's congested roads or even freeways. Their bright color matches the noon sun and livens up summer's brown hills.
Like many of us California residents, poppies like to transplant to new places and will often be the first flowers to grace what had been inhospitable places. If conditions are right, one poppy can send a root underground for a few feet and then jump out with many blooms. Since poppies are so accepting, they make a great first addition to a native plant garden.
Poppies adapt well to the California sun, but during rare rains, the blooms close in around the seed production centers within. When the clouds they don't prefer go away, they open again in full sunny-side up glory.
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