Tree Poppies

Tree Poppies, or Matilija Poppies, are native to California and northern Mexico. They are very tall flowers (the tallest stemmed flower I have been in the presence of) with delicate white petals. They bloom in the spring and summer here in Northern California along a short hiking trail.

Tree Poppy

The poppies I have seen are the height of a person, which seems gargantuan for a flower. They can grow up to seven feet in height. The flowers I pass by often are growing in a large community of flowers so altogether they look like an enormous bouquet for a giant.

Tree poppies in a group

“Romneya coulteri, the Coulter’s Matilija poppy or California tree poppy, is a perennial species of flowering plant in the poppy family Papaveraceae.”


According to what I have read, the Tree Poppy grows through rhizomes, meaning it spreads easily and new flowers can come up some distance from the original flowers. I’ve been learning about rhizomes lately because the Horsetail on my property functions in a similar way.

Tree Poppy bloom

The Tree Poppy was nominated for state flower in the late 1800s, but the California Poppy ended up winning that honor.

Tree Poppy buds and flowers

These poppies are beautiful. They remind me of tissue paper flowers I made as a child. They have big, delicate petals with a vibrant yellow middle and a tall, strong, green stem. The buds are huge because they bloom into such large flowers. It is a wonder to see this plant in person.

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