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California poppy

n/a

General Information

Common Name(s):
Family Name: Papaveraceae
Genus: Eschscholzia
Species: californica
Indigenous Name: Ataushanut

Supporting Documents


Botanical Description(s)

1) The California Poppy is an herb with stems up to 2 feet high. The 4 orange petals are up to 2 1/2 inches long. There are numerous stamens and 1 pistil.
Bibliographic Source: Dale, Nancy - Flowering Plants: The Santa Monica Mountains, Coastal & Chaparral Regions of Southern California
Publication: Capra Press, 1986
2) Herbaceous perenial that grows in disturbed ground, bright orange to yellow flowers, four petals with blue grey basal stems and leaves. It is found in Yellow Pine Forest, Red Fir Forest, Lodgepole Forest, Foothill Woodland, Chaparral, Valley Grassland, with many other plant communities in the area between Riverside to Baja California.
Bibliographic Source: A Beginning, Part 1 - Luise?o Ethnobotanical Database
Publication: CSU students, 2008

Plant Uses

Medicinal Uses

>Medicinal Purpose: > Sedative, Relieves pain and relaxes spasms, Diuretic and promotes perspiration, Aids in treatment of incontinence
>Part Used: > Whole plant harvested when in flower, Watery sap
>Preparation: >Dried plant or sap is used
>Administration: >Tinctures and infusions
>Explanation: >Taken internally
>Related Plant Lore: >California Poppy is cultivated and used by herbal practitioners as a safe and gentle sedative for hyperactive children. American Indians used the plant for similar purposes, and in the treatment of spastic colon and gallbladder conditions.
>Bibliographic Source: >Tilford, Gregory - Edible and Medicinal Plants of the West
Publication: Mountain Press, 1997

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>Related Plant Lore: >Among the Ohlone, they would boil down the poppy flowers and rub into hair to kill lice. One or two of the flowers were placed under the bed to put a child to sleep. Pregnant or lactating women avoided because they belived the scent of the plant was poisonous. The leaves could be eaten and the roots could be used medicinally for toothaches, headache and stomachache.
>Bibliographic Source: >Timbrook, Jan - Chumash Ethnobotany: Plant Knowledge Among the Chumash People of Southern California
Publication: Heyday Books, 2007

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>Related Plant Lore: >Cahuilla women used the pollen as a facial cosmetic. The plant was was said to provice a sedative for babies.
>Bibliographic Source: >Bean, Lowell - Temalpakh: Cahuilla Indian knowledge and usage of plants
Publication: Rubidoux Printing Company, 1972
Utilitarian Uses
No Utilitarian Uses Found in Database
Food Uses

>Medicinal Purpose: > Greens
>Part Used: > Leaves, Flowers
>Preparation: >boiled
>Administration: >Greens
>Explanation: >Flowers chewed with chewing gum and leaves cooked as greens
>Related Plant Lore: >
>Bibliographic Source: >Sparkman, Phillip - Culture of the Luise?o Indians
Publication: University of California Press, 1908
Cultural Uses
No Cultural Uses Found in Database