California Poppy or Eschscholzia californica

Eschscholzia californica

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Eschscholzia californica (California poppy, Californian poppy,[1] golden poppy, California sunlight, cup of gold) is a species of flowering plant in the Papaveraceae family, native to the United States and Mexico. It is an ornamental plant and it is used medicinally and in cooking, and it became the official state flower of California in 1903.

Scientific classification

Kingdom:    Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
Order:          Ranunculales
Family:         Papaveraceae
Genus:         Eschscholzia
Species:       E. californica
Binomial name: Eschscholzia californica

Description

It is a perennial or annual plant growing to 5–60 in (13–152 cm) tall with alternately branching glaucous blue-green foliage. The leaves are alternately divided into round, lobed segments. The flowers are solitary on long stems, silky-textured, with four petals, each petal 2 to 6 cm (0.79 to 2.36 in) long and broad; flower color ranges through yellow, orange and red (with some pinks), with flowering from February to September in the northern hemisphere (spring, summer, autumn). The petals close at night (or in cold, windy weather) and open again the following morning, although they may remain closed in cloudy weather. The fruit is a slender, dehiscent capsule 3 to 9 cm (1.2 to 3.5 in) long, which splits in two to release numerous small black or dark brown seeds. It survives mild winters in its native range, dying completely in colder climates.

Uses

California poppy leaves were used medicinally by Native Americans and the pollen was used cosmetically, while the seeds continue to be used in cooking.

The plant is used as an herbal remedy: an aqueous extract of the plant has sedative and anxiolytic actions. The extract acts as a mild sedative when smoked, but the effect is far milder than that of opium because California poppy contains a different class of alkaloids:

“An aqueous alcohol extract of Eschscholzia californica has been evaluated for benzodiazepine, neuroleptic, antidepressant, antihistaminic and analgesic properties. The plant extract did not protect mice against the convulsant effects of pentylenetetrazol, and did not cause muscle relaxant effects, but appeared to possess an affinity for the benzodiazepine receptor. The extract induced peripheral analgesic effects in mice but did not possess antidepressant, neuroleptic or antihistaminic effects.”

Rolland, A.; Fleurentin, J.; Lanhers, M.C.; Misslin, R.; Mortier, F. (August 2001). “Neurophysiological Effects of an Extract of Eschscholzia Californica Cham. (Papaveraceae)”. Phytotherapy Research. 15 (5): 377–381.

Bibliographic details for “Eschscholzia californica”

  • Page name: Eschscholzia californica
  • Author: Wikipedia contributors
  • Publisher: Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
  • Date of last revision: 16 March 2017 09:53 UTC
  • Date retrieved: 19 April 2017 22:58 UTC
  • Permanent link: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Eschscholzia_californica&oldid=770584294
  • Primary contributors: Revision history statistics
  • Page Version ID: 770584294