Frying Pan Poppy

Common name: Frying Pan Poppy

Scientific name: Eschscholzia lobbii
Family: Papaveraceae (poppy)
Habitat: grassland (shallow soils)
Size: plant 4 to 8 inches tall, flower 1.5 to 2.5 cm
Fun facts: Early Spanish-Californians made a hair-oil from the plant which made their hair shiny. They believed that it also made their hair grow.

Description: Member of the poppy family. All members of this family have four petals. The flowers are yellow. The leaves are delicate and fern-like.

Frying Pan Poppies are the smaller of the two poppies at Mather Field. The similar California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica) is a much larger plant with much larger golden or orange flowers.

Life cycle: Frying Pan Poppy is an annual plant. It germinates in the fall and blooms during the first warm days of March. It may continue to bloom into May in favorable locations. It prefers shallow soils where there is less competition from annual grasses.

Ecology: Frying Pan Poppy leaves are very nutritious and are eaten by a variety of native herbivores such as rabbits.

Investigate: Can you figure out what insects pollinate the Frying Pan Poppy? Are these the same insects that pollinate the related California Poppies? Compare Frying Pan Poppy and California Poppy. Is it easy to see the difference?