The plant’s bright orange flowers are an unmatched symbol of the Golden State , perhaps viewed as a floral representation of the “fields of gold” sought during the gold rush.
As that turns out, it’s not entirely true! You can pick , bend, eat or smoke a Poppy as long it is not on state property. However, if a Poppy or any other flower is on School, Park, a median or even outside a courthouse, DO NOT pick or hurt the flower .
Also sometimes known as the flame flower, la amapola, and copa de oro ( cup of gold ), the poppy grows wild throughout California. It became the state flower in 1903.
California State Symbols, Songs, and Emblems
|Designation||Symbol / Emblem||Adopted|
|Animal||California grizzly bear ( Ursus californicus )||1953|
|Bird||California valley quail (Lophortyx californica)||1931|
|Colors||Blue and gold||1951|
|Dance||West coast swing dance||1988|
Most of us Californians grew up believing it is illegal to pick California Poppies , because it is the state flower. As it turns out, that is somewhat of a myth! While there is no law protecting the California Poppy specifically, it is illegal to remove or damage plants from property that a person does not own.
California poppies are annual plants with feathery gray-green foliage. The four-petaled flowers, borne on stems 20 to 30 cm (8 to 12 inches) long, are usually pale yellow , orange , or cream in the wild, but cultivated varieties are available in whites and various shades of red and pink .
Caution: California poppy may be toxic when taken internally without sufficient preparation. The California poppy has cultural significance for many indigenous people of the western United States including the Luiseno, Cahuilla, Costanoan and Pomo tribes.
“Is it illegal to pick California golden poppies ?” Turns out this myth is sort of true because it’s illegal to pick any plant found in state and federal parks. If you pick one, you could be prosecuted for a misdemeanor crime punishable with a fine up to $1,000, and even 6 months in jail.
The species Eschscholzia Californica grows in Southern California and is common in the desert area, especially the Mojave desert. It can also be found growing up the coast up through Oregon and up to Southern Washington. They do well in dry areas such as Nevada, New Mexico and the Northwestern portion of Baja, Mexico.
Taking a cue from the Sonoma revolt in 1846, the state again decided to make the California Grizzly the flag’s focal point. Only this time they wanted a bear that actually looked like a bear . Illustrators used the recently deceased Monarch as the model for the bear on our state flag .
37 state symbols
California . The Golden State unconventionally declared four different nuts as its official state food , but almonds are the obvious choice. The state produces 80 percent of the world’s crops!
Unfortunately, California’s coastline topography makes it more expensive to build here than most other places. Also, there’s the ocean. Construction labor and the cost of the raw materials have been rising over the last five years, and are higher in California than other parts of the country.