Southwest US & Mexico
Cup shaped meadow flower ranging from bright red to yellow. Grows on a long stem with fern like delicate foliage
In March of 2019 tens of thousands of tourists descended on the hills of southern California to see the “superbloom” of poppies. A record bloom turned the hills orange, and several small towns were overwhelmed with the visitors vying to get the perfect photo.
The mayor of Lake Elsinore CA, where this photo was taken declared a “Poppy Apocalypse” after his small town was invaded by 100,000 tourists in a single day.
FOOD & DRUGS:
This species of poppy produces edible seeds & oil, and sometimes the flower itself is used as a garnish. Papaver somniferum, the opium poppy, is native to the Middle East and Western Asia. That species is highly controlled by international agencies because it can produce opium, heroin, and codine. The DEA even raided Monticello in the 90’s because the historically accurate gardeners had continued to grow the flower that Thomas Jefferson orignially brought to the Americas.